Spanish National Research Council · University of Seville
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Research Units » Design of Digital and Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits » Microelectronics for Security

Microelectronics for Security


Iluminada Baturone Castillo


Carlos J. Jiménez Fernández


Keywords: hardware for cryptography; biometrics and crypto-biometrics; physical unclonable functions (PUFs); secure FPGAs and integrated circuits; hardware attacks; authentication and secure communications

This research line focuses on microelectronic solutions for security applications. The objectives are to verify the identity of hardware devices and users as well as to store and communicate sensitive information, resorting to the use of techniques from cryptography, biometrics, and their combination (crypto-biometrics). Security against hardware attacks is especially analyzed, particularly fault injection and side-channel attacks such as differential power analysis (DPA) and differential electromagnetic attacks (DEMA). Microelectronic solutions are aimed at constructions and algorithms providing security together with efficient features of size, power consumption and operation speed.
The activities within this research line are devoted to:
  • Exploration of cryptographic algorithms from a secure hardware implementation point of view. Development of architectures for such algorithms with optimized features in terms of VLSI design and resistance against attacks.
  • Analysis of side-channel and fault-injection attack sources. Development of robust hardware solutions as well as setups and benchmarks to measure the security of microelectronic realizations against attacks. Vulnerability metrics.
  • Design of modules based on PUFs (within programmable devices and/or integrated circuits) to implement security primitives particularly related to key generation, identifiers, and random numbers.
  • Hardware implementation of algorithms to process and recognize biometric features such as fingerprints, faces, gait, voice, etc. Design of microelectronic solutions for biometric, multi-biometric, and crypto-biometric systems.
  • Application of the above solutions to wearable devices, tokens, tags, consumer electronic devices, control systems, etc.
Experimental setup to measure hardware security: 1.- Power supply, 2.- Logic analyzer, 3.-Osciloscope,
4.- Temperature control system, 5.- Device under test, 6.- Software to automate measurements.
 Prototype of e-padlock which allows dual-factor authentication (what you have and who you are) in the access to a content management system.
Research Highlights
E. Tena-Sánchez, J. Castro and A.J. Acosta , "A Methodology for Optimized Design of Secure Differential Logic Gates for DPA Resistant Circuits", IEEE Journal on Emerging and Selected Topics in Circuits and Systems, vol. 4, no. 2, pp 203-215, 2014 » doi
R. Arjona and I. Baturone, "A Hardware Solution for Real-Time Intelligent Fingerprint Acquisition", Journal of Real-Time Image Processing, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 95-109, 2014 » doi
I. Baturone, M.A. Prada-Delgado and S. Eiroa, "Improved generation of identifiers, secret keys, and random numbers from SRAMs", IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 2653-2668, 2015 » doi
A. Cabrera-Aldaya, A.J. Cabrera and S. Sánchez-Solano, "SPA Vulnerabilities of the Binary Extended Euclidean Algorithm", Journal of Cryptographic Engineering, vol 7, no. 4, pp. 273–285, 2017 » doi
J.M. Mora-Gutiérrez, C.J. Jiménez-Fernández and M. Valencia-Barrero, "Trivium Hardware Implementations for Power Reduction", International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications, Special Issue: Secure lightweight crypto-hardware, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 188-198, 2017 » doi
Key Research Projects & Contracts
CRIPTO-BIO: Microelectronic design for crypto-biometric authentication (P08-TIC-03674) » web
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo
Funding Body: Junta de Andalucía - Proyecto de Excelencia
Jan 2009 - Dec 2013
CB-DOC: Content management system with secure authentication by cripto-biometric techniques based on hardware (IPT-2012-0695-390000) » web
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo
Funding Body: Min. de Economía y Competitividad - Proyecto INNPACTO
Jul 2012 - Mar 2015
SENIAC: Security in interconnected devices by injection of authentication and ciphering algorithms (RTC-2014-2932-8) » web
PI: Iluminada Baturone Castillo
Funding Body: Min. de Economía y Competitividad
Oct 2014 - Mar 2017
CESAR: Secure microelectronic circuits against side-channel attacks (TEC2013-45523-R) » web
PI: Antonio J. Acosta / Carlos J. Jiménez
Funding Body: Min. de Economía y Competitividad
Jan 2014 - Dec 2016
INTERVALO: Integración y validación en laboratorio de contramedidas frente a ataques laterales en criptocircuitos microelectrónicos (TEC2016-80549-R)
PI: Antonio J. Acosta / Carlos J. Jiménez
Funding Body: Min. de Economía y Competitividad
Dec 2016 - Dec 2019