Trusted Integrated Circuit Procurement for Space Assets

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-M-1330
Agency Tracking Number: F112-151-0425
Amount: $149,451.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF112-151
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
9390 Research Blvd, Suite I200, Austin, TX, -
DUNS: 135494073
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Adam Jachniewicz
 Senior Engineer
 (512) 795-0220
Business Contact
 Gary McMillian
Title: Member of LLC
Phone: (512) 795-0220
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Crossfield intends to develop a"Chip Firewall"that monitors the I/O (input/output) pins for a tamper circuit activation signal. Side channel attacks, in which one or more pins are forced into a non-legal condition, are a common technique for tampering with or activating a circuit. Using the concept of a firewall, Crossfield intends to monitor the integrated circuit I/O for any illegal condition and then force the integrated circuit into a known state where, 1) no damage is done to the circuit, 2) the circuit can recover more quickly, and 3) any operational condition of the tamper circuit is forced back into a state where it is harmless. Crossfield"s technical approach to implementing the Chip Firewall is based on two innovations, asynchronous logic and DRPs (doped resistance paths). The Chip Firewall can be implemented from standard cells during the trusted fabrication process and is unlikely/very difficult to be detected and/or disable by the entity inserting the tamper circuit. BENEFIT: Crossfield's anti-tamper approach has the benefit of being isolated from the circuit it is monitoring and protecting, so it cannot be easily spoofed itself. The technique does not rely on any information from the circuit itself other than some knowledge of the design at the time the circuit is fabricated. The anti-tamper circuit requires very low chip overhead and can be deployed as a drop-in macrocell. The user does not need to understand the inner workings in order to employ the technique.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government