Hardware Security for Contactless 3-D Integrated Circuits
Applications accepted all year round
Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
The research question that this project intends to address is how these threats manifest for three-dimensional (3-D) circuits  and how they can be mitigated. In principle, the stacking of circuits is considered to increase the security strength of the system; however, this may not be the case for contactless 3-D circuits where power is also transferred wirelessly through on-chip inductors.
The student will investigate whether similar security attacks as those to RF tags can be applied to this type of circuits and propose countermeasures for this type of attacks. Obfuscation methods, modulation of the transferred power to mask the power profile of the executed by the circuit task are some possible ways to address these security issues. The focus will be on sensing based systems which process, extract, and potentially store sensitive medical information.
This PhD project offers an exciting opportunity to work primarily in developing new ideas that will lead to novel design methods for securing this type of 3-D circuits. The student will have the opportunity to design test circuits through multi-project wafer services and thus evaluate the efficiency of the proposed methods through silicon measurements. Consequently, high quality and impactful publications are expected to be produced during the course of this project. Circuit design skills, knowledge of 3-D integration and heterogeneous technologies as well as deep understanding of hardware security will be acquired, all of which are key elements for careers in the semiconductor and more broadly the electronics industry.
Keywords: Hardware security, side-channel attacks, three-dimensional integration, cryptography.
Candidates who have been offered a place for PhD study in the School of Computer Science may be considered for funding by the School. Further details on School funding can be found at: View Website.
 S. M. D. Pozo, F.-X. Standaert, D. Kamel, and A. Moradi, «Side-Channel Attacks from Static Power: When Should we Care?,» Proceedings of the Design, Automation and Test in Europe, pp. 145-150, March 2015.
 S. Mangard, E. Oswald, and T. Popp, «Power Analysis Attacks Revealing the Secrets of Smart Cards,» Springer Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems, 2007.
 V. F. Pavlidis, I. Savidis, and E. G. Friedman, Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuit Design, 2nd Edition, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, June 2017.