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Characterizing Laser-Induced Pulses in ICs: Methodology and Results

Authored on: Jul 7, 2008 by D. Leroy et al.

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Like other silicon integrated circuit (IC) domains, the smart card market is very competitive and main actors are constantly trying to design the cheapest and safest circuits to ensure their consumers' satisfaction. These requirements lead smart card designers to develop standard cell-based tamper resistant ICs and to characterize their circuits' sensitivity.

In this paper, we present some experimental results aimed at characterizing the sensitivity to laser-induced transient pulses (and their duration) of elementary cells from the 0,13 μm standard cell library STM HCMOS9GP. They were obtained for a specially designed and fabricated experimental circuit. The data obtained here allows for a better understanding of laser attacks and can be used to design ICs with better protection against such attacks. The final goal of this work is to build and augment new simulation models dedicated to laser-induced faults aimed specifically at the smart card industry.

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