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Sensors 2013, 13(9), 11709-11727; doi:10.3390/s130911709

Design and Implementation of a New Real-Time Frequency Sensor Used as Hardware Countermeasure

* ,
Department of Electronic Engineering, Computers, and Automatic, University of Huelva, Ctra Huelva-La Rábida, s/n, 21819 Huelva, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2013 / Revised: 29 July 2013 / Accepted: 29 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
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A new digital countermeasure against attacks related to the clock frequency is presented. This countermeasure, known as frequency sensor, consists of a local oscillator, a transition detector, a measurement element and an output block. The countermeasure has been designed using a full-custom technique implemented in an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC), and the implementation has been verified and characterized with an integrated design using a 0.35 mm standard Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology (Very Large Scale Implementation—VLSI implementation). The proposed solution is configurable in resolution time and allowed range of period, achieving a minimum resolution time of only 1.91 ns and an initialization time of 5.84 ns. The proposed VLSI implementation shows better results than other solutions, such as digital ones based on semi-custom techniques and analog ones based on band pass filters, all design parameters considered. Finally, a counter has been used to verify the good performance of the countermeasure in avoiding the success of an attack.
Keywords: hardware security; VLSI; clock glitching; reverse engineering; frequency sensor hardware security; VLSI; clock glitching; reverse engineering; frequency sensor
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Jiménez-Naharro, R.; Gómez-Galán, J.A.; Sánchez-Raya, M.; Gómez-Bravo, F.; Pedro-Carrasco, M. Design and Implementation of a New Real-Time Frequency Sensor Used as Hardware Countermeasure. Sensors 2013, 13, 11709-11727.

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