Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 11-1-2019


Society continues to depend on electronics for everything from smart systems in our homes to cellphones and tablets, which are more powerful today than many desktop computers that are still in use [1]. With increased consumption of these electronic products comes an increase in problems, such as counterfeit integrated circuits being sold as genuine integrated circuits. This is just one of many problems that corporations and end users are having to deal with in this digital age.

Software security has been accepted as a problem by both the media and general public, but only recently has hardware security begun to come out as a problem as important, if not more important, than software security. When there is an issue with software, a software patch can be


released to fix this issue. Due to the nature of hardware, this is not possible with hardware security problems. Often times, firmware can be updated to partially address the problem, as in the case with the Intel and AMD processor flaws in the news recently [2]. However, there are many times that the only solution is to take the hardware system offline and replace the questionable components.

Hardware security researchers have been trying to find ways to use security circuits in hardware design to help combat this problem. One type of security circuit being researched and used today is called a Physically Unclonable Circuit (PUF). PUF circuits can be added onto an existing integrated circuit design, interrogated at fabrication for challenge-response pairs which are stored in a database, then checked against that database at any time in the lifecycle of that integrated circuit [3].

This research contributes to PUF security circuits by showing how different ways of laying out a circuit design on an integrated circuit can change the performance of the circuit, as well as if PUF circuits designed on SiGe BiCMOS can be used in the same way that PUF circuits fabricated using standard CMOS processes are used today.


Physically, unclonable, function, circuit, Trujillo, Joshua

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Payman Zarkesh-Ha

Second Committee Member

Christos Christodoulou

Third Committee Member

Adam Hecht

Third Advisor

Paul De Rego