Threshold-Defined Logic and Interconnect for Protection against Reverse Engineering

Jae Won Jang, Asmit De, Deepak Vontela, Ithihasa Nirmala, Swaroop Ghosh, Anirudh Iyengar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Securing the intellectual property (IP) from counterfeiting is an important goal toward trustworthy computing. Camouflaging of logic gates is a well-known technique to prevent an adversary from de-layering the chip and stealing IP. In this paper, we propose threshold voltage modulation to realize 2-input static camouflaged logic that can hide six functionalities. We extend the concept of threshold-voltage defined logic to propose multi-input camouflaged gates capable of hiding six 3-input Boolean functions (NAND, NOR, AOI, OAI, XOR, and XNOR). We also propose interconnect camouflaging technique which hides the original connectivity of nets using a novel threshold-voltage defined pass transistor mux. Since threshold voltages are asserted during fabrication and are difficult to identify during optical reverse engineering (RE)-based techniques, the adversary will be forced to launch a brute-force search. We present a thorough analysis of RE effort and overheads associated with the proposed camouflaging techniques. The proposed methodology is demonstrated using fabricated test-chip in 65 nm technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8576591
Pages (from-to)308-320
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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