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Sensors 2018, 18(9), 3034;

Fringing Electric Field Sensors for Anti-Attack at System-Level Protection

1,2,†,* and 1,2,†
School of Microelectronics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Imaging and Sensing Microelectronic Technology, Tianjin 300072, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 11 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [959 KB, uploaded 14 September 2018]   |  


Information system security has been in the spotlight of individuals and governments in recent years. Integrated Circuits (ICs) function as the basic element of communication and information spreading, therefore they have become an important target for attackers. From this perspective, system-level protection to keep chips from being attacked is of vital importance. This paper proposes a novel method based on a fringing electric field (FEF) sensor to detect whether chips are dismantled from a printed circuit board (PCB) as system-level protection. The proposed method overcomes the shortcomings of existing techniques that can be only used in specific fields. After detecting a chip being dismantled from PCB, some protective measures like deleting key data can be implemented to be against attacking. Fringing electric field sensors are analyzed through simulation. By optimizing sensor’s patterns, areas and geometrical parameters, the methods that maximize sensitivity of fringing electric field sensors are put forward and illustrated. The simulation is also reproduced by an experiment to ensure that the method is feasible and reliable. The results of experiments are inspiring in that they prove that the sensor can work well for protection of chips and has the advantage of universal applicability, low cost and high reliability. View Full-Text
Keywords: information security; system-level protection; fringing electric field sensor; sensor design information security; system-level protection; fringing electric field sensor; sensor design

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Gao, X.; Zhao, Y.; Ma, H. Fringing Electric Field Sensors for Anti-Attack at System-Level Protection. Sensors 2018, 18, 3034.

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