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Title: A secure data-toggling SRAM for confidential data protection
Authors: Ho, Weng-Geng
Chong, Kwen-Siong
Kim, Tony Tae-Hyoung
Gwee, Bah Hwee
Keywords: Engineering::Electrical and electronic engineering
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Ho, W., Chong, K., Kim, T. T. & Gwee, B. H. (2019). A secure data-toggling SRAM for confidential data protection. IEEE Transactions On Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, 66(11), 4186-4199.
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers 
Abstract: We study the security feature of static random access memory (SRAM) against the data imprinting attack and provide a solution to protect the SRAM from this attack. There are four main contributions in this paper. First, the negative-bias temperature-instability (NBTI) degradation of PMOS transistors in the conventional SRAM cell that causes the data imprinting effect is explained. Second, the data imprinting effect that leaks the stored information in the conventional SRAM cell is investigated. Third, a novel low transistor-count transmission-gate-based master-slave SRAM cell is proposed to periodically toggle the stored data for reducing the data imprinting effect. Fourth, an efficient imprinting analysis flow is proposed to evaluate the proposed data-Toggling SRAM for quantifying the data imprinting effect. Based on a 65-nm CMOS process, we implement and prototype the proposed 1k-byte data-Toggling SRAM design. We perform our imprinting analysis flow on various SRAM ICs and benchmark our proposed data-Toggling SRAM IC against the non-Toggling SRAM IC and a commercial Lyontek SRAM IC. From the measurement results, the non-Toggling SRAM and Lyontek SRAM suffer from 60% and 81% data imprinting effects, respectively, whereas our data-Toggling SRAM has only 11% data imprinting effect (at 160-kHz toggling frequency). The data-Toggling SRAM could switch between high security (< 5% data imprinting effect) high power mode for hardware security applications and low power (< 0.1mW) low security mode for power-saving applications. Particularly, our data-Toggling SRAM could feature as low as 1% data imprinting effect when increasing the toggling frequency to 1.6 MHz by compromising the power dissipation. Using the image analysis flow, the stored information is revealed in both the non-Toggling and Lyontek SRAM ICs but is well protected in the proposed data-Toggling SRAM IC.
ISSN: 1549-8328
DOI: 10.1109/TCSI.2019.2927363
Schools: School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 
Research Centres: Temasek Laboratories @ NTU 
VIRTUS, IC Design Centre of Excellence 
Rights: © 2019 IEEE. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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