FeFET Memory Encrypted Inside The Storage Array


A new technical paper titled “Embedding security into ferroelectric FET array via in situ memory operation” was published by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, University of Notre Dame, Fraunhofer IPMS, National University of Singapore, and North Dakota State University.

“Non-volatile memories (NVMs) have the potential to reshape next-generation memory systems because of their promising properties of near-zero leakage power consumption, high density and non-volatility. However, NVMs also face critical security threats that exploit the non-volatile property. Compared to volatile memory, the capability of retaining data even after power down makes NVM more vulnerable. Existing solutions to address the security issues of NVMs are mainly based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which incurs significant performance and power overhead. In this paper, we propose a lightweight memory encryption/decryption scheme by exploiting in-situ memory operations with negligible overhead. To validate the feasibility of the encryption/decryption scheme, device-level and array-level experiments are performed using ferroelectric field effect transistor (FeFET) as an example NVM without loss of generality. Besides, a comprehensive evaluation is performed on a 128 × 128 FeFET AND-type memory array in terms of area, latency, power and throughput. Compared with the AES-based scheme, our scheme shows ~22.6×/~14.1× increase in encryption/decryption throughput with negligible power penalty. Furthermore, we evaluate the performance of our scheme over the AES-based scheme when deploying different neural network workloads. Our scheme yields significant latency reduction by 90% on average for encryption and decryption processes.”

Find the technical paper here. Published December 2023.

Xu, Y., Xiao, Y., Zhao, Z. et al. Embedding security into ferroelectric FET array via in situ memory operation. Nat Commun 14, 8287 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-43941-5

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