Electromagnetic Detection of FIB Facilitated IC Modifications
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Because Critical Program Information (CPI) is often embedded in integrated circuits, adversaries must now attack at the die level. As a result, Focused Ion Beams (FIBs) have become a preferred tool for reverse engineering. FIBs can bypass or create circuit elements at the lowest levels; however, they induce inherent, characteristic side effects when modifying a semiconductor die. The proposed countermeasure will utilize ultra-low level electromagnetic (EM) emissions to detect, identify, and diagnose the minute changes in the circuitry induced by FIBs. This relies on Nokomis"customized antennas, its unique, ultrasensitive sensors, and its proprietary signal processing algorithms that enable substantially better than state of the art detection and diagnosis. During this Phase I, Nokomis will 1) demonstrate the collectability of identifying emissions from a representative device; 2) design and prototype a customized low-profile probe that will be used to tailor emission collection to that device; 3) modify the specimen device with an FIB to mimic possible attack vectors; and 4) demonstrate collection of repeatable modified identifying emissions. This will prove the technique"s ability to detect FIB induced modifications of semiconductor devices and the ability to tailor the existing, more general system to the very specialized needs of the anti-tamper community.
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