Date of Award:

2015

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Koushik Chakraborty

Abstract

Chips with high computational power are the crux of today’s pervasive complex digital systems. Microprocessor circuits are evolving towards many core designs with the integration of hundreds of processing cores, memory elements and other devices on a single chip to sustain high performance computing while maintaining low design costs. Two decisive paradigm shifts in the semiconductor industry have made this evolution possible: (a) architectural and (b) organizational.

At the heart of the architectural innovation is a scalable high speed data communication structure, the network-on-chip (NoC). NoC is an interconnect network for the glueless integration of on-chip components in the modern complex communication centric designs. In the recent days, NoC has replaced the traditional bus based architecture owing to its structured and modular design, scalability and low design cost. The organizational revolution has resulted in a globalized and collaborative supply chain with pervasive use of third party intellectual properties to reduce the time-to-market and overall design costs.

Despite the advantages of these paradigm shifts, modern system-on-chips pose a plethora of security vulnerabilities. This work explores a threat model arising from a malicious NoC IP embedded with a hardware trojan affecting the resource availability of on-chip components. A rigorous simulation infrastructure is established to evaluate the feasibility and potency of such an attack. Further, a non-invasive runtime monitoring technique is proposed and thoroughly investigated to ensure the trustworthiness of a third party NoC IP with low overheads.

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