Secure circuits inspected down to the transistor

Categorie(s) : MINATEC, News, Research

Published : 4 December 2017

It is now possible to analyze secure-circuit failures at the individual transistor—the ultimate degree of precision. However, to do so requires access to one of the world’s four nanofocused X-ray beams. A team of researchers from CESTI*-Leti used the beamline at Grenoble’s Synchrotron to obtain some original results.
The nanofocused beam can put and keep a single transistor in the open or closed position to determine its role in the failure being analyzed. Simply annealing the transistor for one hour at 150 °C restores normal conditions. The testing method also offers the major advantage of being 100% non-invasive for the circuit and its enclosure. CESTI’s research won the Best Paper award at the recent CHES conference in Taiwan.

*Information technology security evaluation center


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