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Researchers Propose A New “Unhackable” Transistor - News

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Counterfeit estimate

. In addition to the financial impact, counterfeiting also has a negative impact on the system integrating the compromised component.

For these reasons, semiconductor manufacturers and academia are constantly striving to develop solutions to prevent piracy and IP reverse engineering. Now, Purdue University researchers have announced a new type of transistor, which they claim may end a large number of semiconductor reverse engineering. 

Attackers can use many methods to reverse engineer and eventually fake integrated circuits. As long as the attacker can see the internal structure of the chip, he can reverse engineer the CMOS chip.

. By observing how the incident X-ray beam scatters and scatters within the chip at different angles, the researchers show that they can determine what the internal structure of the chip must be.

The technology is non-invasive and can occur at any time during the product life cycle, so it is difficult to prevent. This attack change can also be achieved through electron microscopy.

Another method involves physically unpacking the chip and manually observing its internal structure. This is an invasive and destructive procedure, but it has proven to be an effective method for reverse engineering of ICs. 

The problem of counterfeit ICs comes down to the fact that digital CMOS technology is always composed of identifiable modules: PMOS pull-up network and NMOS pull-down network. In theory, any attacker who understands CMOS can identify the circuit block and reverse engineer the entire IP as long as he can access the chip. 

This month,

, Which involves getting rid of traditional CMOS.

Until activated in a special way. These FETs are Schrodinger transistors, made of black phosphorous, with reconfigurable polarity, and can be dynamically switched between p-FET and n-FET operation through electrostatic gating.

Unless users have the keys to activate these devices correctly, the technology will make digital networks indistinguishable from each other. Researchers say that even chip manufacturers do not have the keys. 

The result is a device that cannot be optically reverse engineered. The researchers continue to show in their paper that these transistors can work even when operating at a supply voltage as low as 0.2 V.

Researchers at Purdue University say their disguise method is the first way to go beyond the circuit level by masking the transistor type. Although this may not eliminate all piracy problems, it is absolutely certain that if you continue to expand the scope of piracy, you can significantly reduce the risk of reverse engineering.

What worries me is that the sole purpose of this design is to prevent piracy, not to improve performance. They seem to be working well as secondary concerts.

The article itself is disguised...misleading.

The "solution" provided is a new type of transistor that can be configured through software.

Xray can recognize the structure as before.

Interesting technology, but nothing new. The transistor network with electrically erasable (EEPROM or FLASH) bits is exactly the same, maybe this is smaller.

The premise is false. You can tell the type of transistor. The same is true for these devices. Similarly, it is not that difficult to store ICs with suitable equipment. The passivation layer protects chips other than the bonding pads from the etchant.


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