Dr. Ioannis Savidis, Associate Professor, Drexel University
The globalization of the integrated circuit supply chain has resulted in an increase in untrusted third parties
throughout the circuit design and manufacturing flow. Circuit obfuscation is explored as a means
to protect intellectual property (IP) in the digital, analog, and RF domains. First, an introduction to
possible vulnerabilities of digital and analog/RF IP is provided. Once primary threat models are defined,
techniques developed by my research group to protect digital circuits from reverse engineering and cloning
are described. Specifically, circuit techniques and methodologies developed to optimize logic locking of
both the combinatorial and sequential components of a digital circuit will be discussed.
The second half of my presentation focuses on the challenges and benefits of securing analog and RF
circuit blocks. Design considerations for analog circuits significantly differ from digital blocks and include
greater precision in biasing conditions, greater sensitivity to noise and temperature, greater emphasis on
signal integrity, tighter noise margins, and simultaneous consideration of multiple circuit parameters. By
accounting for these circuit considerations, my research group has developed techniques to obfuscate
circuit parameters including the gain, bandwidth, target frequency, and biasing points of analog blocks,
which will be discussed as a means to prevent theft and reverse engineering. The high level objective of
the presentation is to elicit a discussion on current and future research trends in the area of analog/RF
mixed-signal IP protection.
Ioannis Savidis (S’03-M’13-SM’18) received the B.S.E. degree in electrical and computer engineering and biomedical
engineering from Duke University, Durham, NC,USA, in 2005, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and
computer engineering from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA, in 2007 and 2013, respectively. He
is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Drexel University,
Philadelphia, PA, USA, where he directs the Integrated Circuits and Electronics (ICE) Design and Analysis Laboratory.
His current research interests include analysis, modeling, and design methodologies for high-performance digital and
mixed-signal integrated circuits, power management and low-power design for system-on-chip and microprocessor
circuits, IC hardware security and trust, analog circuit security and obfuscation, and power and clock delivery for
heterogeneous 2-D and 3-D circuits.
Dr. Savidis is an Editorial Board Member of the IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration Systems, the Microelectronics Journal, and the Journal of Circuits, Systems and Computers. He serves on the organizing committees of the IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST), the Great Lakes Symposium on Very Large Scale Integration (GLSVLSI), the International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), and the International Verification and Security Workshop (IVSW). He is a recipient of the 2018 NSF CAREER Award for his proposal entitled, “Parameter Obfuscation: A Novel Methodology for the Protection of Analog Intellectual
Property” and the 2019 DoD Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) through the Office of Naval Research for his proposal entitled, “Testbed for Experimental Validation of Security Techniques.”
Bookings are closed for this event.