Texplained Shields Chips from Attacks

Originally written and published by eeNews Europe

Stepping up Security in Chip Design: Texplained

Headquartered in Valbonne, South of France, start-up Texplained is on a mission to render chip-level reverse engineering a dead-end for IC counterfeiters. Although today’s Common Criteria Certification schemes for secure chips consider laboratory-grade invasive attacks as a negligible threat, Texplained’s CEO Clarisse Ginet (pictured) is here to prove otherwise.

“It used to be the case, maybe 15 years ago, that invasive attacks (chemically and physically removing layers to read through a chip’s architecture) were too technical and too costly to be a threat, but this is no longer the case today”, argues Ginet, “Just imagine, we are a small startup and yet we were able to fund our own lab and break into most commercial chips available today.”

There is a plethora of countermeasures aimed at non-invasive attacks such as Differential Power Analysis (DPA) side channel attacks for which Rambus provide noise-reduction and obfuscation IP. But the reality, argues Ginet, is that today’s serious counterfeiters want it all, the chip’s internals together with its embedded code, and they opt for invasive attacks most of the time since they get a 100% target hit.



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