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New packaging has been developed to prevent manufacturers from reverse stealing chip design information

 

Examples of possible chip attacks include the use of infrared rays, chemical delays, and scanning-focused ion beams to remove material from the chip and access the IC further. It is then possible to use this IC access to obtain design information, and potentially data.


"Multiple hardware and software countermeasures can be built to make ics more secure, but the back of the chip remains vulnerable to physical attacks," said Alain Merle, Leti Security marketing manager.


Therefore, Leti proposed an isolation cover made of a metal winding track sandwiched between two polymers, in which a layer of polymer is opaque to infrared light and can hide the winding path. The inner polymer is designed to detect chemical attacks, protected by resistors along the winding track lines, or multiple winding tracks that cover the entire back of the chip. Any action that changes the winding path will also change the resistance that can be used to trigger or delete sensitive data.


 

Leti points out that since these chips are made using standard packaging processes, they can provide hardware security with only a few extra steps and low cost.


Leti's research on "Backside Shield against Physical Attacks for Secure ICs" will be presented at the Device Packaging Conference Conference in Fountain Hills.


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