Implementation of DPA-Resistant Circuit for FPGA

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Virginia Tech

In current Field-Programmable-Logic Architecture (FPGA) design flows, it is very hard to control the routing of submodules. It is thus very hard to make an identical copy of an existing circuit within the same FPGA fabric. We have solved this problem in a way that still enables us to modify the logic function of the copied submodule. Our technique has important applications in the design of side-channel resistant implementations in FPGA. Starting from an existing single-ended design, we are able to create a complementary circuit. The resulting overall circuit strongly reduces the power-consumption-dependent information leaks. We will show all the necessary steps needed to implement secure circuits on a FPGA, from initial design stage all the way to verification of the level of security through laboratory measurements. We show that the direct mapping of a secure ASIC circuit-style in an FPGA does not preserve the same level of security, unless our symmetrical routing technique is employed. We demonstrate our approach on an FPGA prototype of a cryptographic design, and show through power-measurements followed by side-channel power analysis that secure logic implemented with our approach is resistant whereas non-routing-aware directly mapped circuit can be successfully attacked.

Differential Power Analysis, Secure Circuit, Field programmable gate arrays