Power/Performance Bits: March 24


Backscatter Wi-Fi radio Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio they say could enable portable IoT devices. Using 5,000 times less power than standard Wi-Fi radios, the device consumes 28 microwatts while transmitting data at a rate of 2 megabits per second over a range of up to 21 meters. "You can connect your phone, your smart devices, ... » read more

Hardware Attack Surface Widening


An expanding attack surface in hardware, coupled with increasing complexity inside and outside of chips, is making it far more difficult to secure systems against a variety of new and existing types of attacks. Security experts have been warning about the growing threat for some time, but it is being made worse by the need to gather data from more places and to process it with AI/ML/DL. So e... » read more

Taking A Closer Look At Side Channel Attacks


In last month’s Semiconductor Engineering article, we explored the basics of side channel attacks (SCAs). As we discussed, all cryptographic algorithms are subject to side channel attacks, with vulnerabilities extending across all platforms and form factors. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the two primary categories of side channel attacks: simple power analysis (SPA) and ... » read more

Understanding Side Channel Attacks


Side channel attacks (SCAs) differ considerably from conventional cryptographic attacks. Essentially, side channel attacks – which can be very low-cost and non-invasive – exploit data gathered from side channels. A side channel can be exploited by simply placing an antenna, magnetic probe, or other sensor near a device or system. This allows an attacker to measure power consumption, voltage... » read more

Bolstering Security For AI Applications


Hardware accelerators that run sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms have become increasingly prevalent in data centers and endpoint devices. As such, protecting sensitive and lucrative data running on AI hardware from a range of threats is now a priority for many companies. Indeed, a determined attacker can either manipulate or steal training data, inf... » read more

New Security Risks Create Need For Stealthy Chips


Semiconductors are becoming more vulnerable to attacks at each new process node due to thinner materials used to make these devices, as well as advances in equipment used to simulate how those chips behave. Thinner chips are now emitting light, electromagnetic radiation and various other types of noise, which can be observed using infrared and acoustic sensors. In addition, more powerful too... » read more

Security Tradeoffs In A Shifting Global Supply Chain


Experts at the Table: Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss a wide range of hardware security issues and possible solutions with Norman Chang, chief technologist for the Semiconductor Business Unit at ANSYS; Helena Handschuh, fellow at Rambus, and Mike Borza, principal security technologist at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. The first part of this discussion ca... » read more

IP Security In FPGAs


Quinn Jacobson, strategic architect at Achronix, talks about security in FPGAs, including how to prevent reverse engineering of IP, how to make sure the design is authentic, and how to limit access to IP in transit and in the chip. » read more

Who’s In Your Wallet?


Hacking a financial institution is a very big deal. Banks and credit card companies take their security very seriously because they literally have money to lose if something goes awry. What becomes clear, though, in reading the criminal complaint involving the Capital One hack, is that the weakest link isn't always the hardware or the software. It's the geeks who want to show off, or ... » read more

New Approaches For Hardware Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss a wide range of hardware security issues and possible solutions with Norman Chang, chief technologist for the Semiconductor Business Unit at ANSYS; Helena Handschuh, fellow at Rambus, and Mike Borza, principal security technologist at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Norman Chang, Helena Handschuh, Mike Borza. Pho... » read more

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