Employment at TIMA

PhD thesis proposals

Sensitivity Analysis and Design Methodology for Secure Digital Circuits against X-Rays

Host: AMfoRS team

Start Date: October 2021

Duration: 3 years

Profile: Context
In digital applications, electronic components must guarantee the security of the processed information. Attacks based on laser or EM illumination, electrical pulses on the power supply or the clock (glitches) or Focused Ion Beam (FIB) are now well-known threats. However, the search for new attack techniques remains a very active field: the use of X-ray illumination has been recently proved feasible to alter the content of memory cells.
In this context, the MITIX project (Modification non Invasive de circuiTs Integrés par rayons X, Noninvasive modification of integrated circuits by X-Rays) aims at proving that X-Rays can effectively constitute a serious threat for secure implementations, even when more affordable equipment is used. Within the projects, several experimental campaigns will be the basis for modelling the interaction between RX beam and the transistors, and hence propose design guidelines and/or solutions in order to protect against this novel attack technique.

The candidate is expected to analyze the sensitivity of MITIX circuits under X-ray beams thanks to simulation models and compare them with experimental results. The goal will be to reproduce the experimental conditions, in particular the positioning and the interaction of the X-ray beam with respect to the circuit, possibly extending the analyses on the circuit (a few selected positions) and extract sensitivity maps extended to a larger area of the topology.
The candidate will then be able to use the developed models and flow in order to evaluate hardening techniques or fault attack countermeasures. This subtask will consist in using the multi-physics and multi-level methodology to study and optimize the layout/routing of the cells, and extract high-level models of the injected faults. This will be essential in order to evaluate techniques from the state of the art, and propose novel solutions against fault attacks.

The candidate should be in possession of a BAC+5 degree in Electrical or Computer Engineering. Knowledge of low-level (transistor/gate level) simulation techniques will be greatly appreciated. Knowledge of hardware security and physical attacks is a plus, but not strictly required.
The PhD will be based at TIMA Laboratory, Grenoble, France, and codirected with ONERA, Toulouse, and will begin approximately on October 2021 and last 3 years. Gross salary will be about 25600€/year (net about 20590€/year, before income taxes).

The potential candidates should send their CV, motivation, and recommendation letters to:
Paolo MAISTRI, TIMA Laboratory, Grenoble (paolo.maistri@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr)
Guillaume HUBERT, ONERA, Toulouse (guillaume.hubert@onera.fr)
Alain ZERGAINOH, TIMA Laboratory, Grenoble (alain.zergainoh@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr)

Contact person: See "Contacts"



Smart IRIS, Smart event-based IR Image Sensors

Host: CDSI team

Start Date: 09/2021

Duration: 3 years

Profile: PhD Proposal (Cifre) with TIMA Laboratory and Orioma company

One of the most important research fields in image sensing is the ability to power-efficiently acquire images. Indeed, image acquisition is usually done by reading all the image pixels at a fixed frame rate. Such a strategy generates a huge amount of data, which increases with the image size and the frame rate. Therefore, imaging systems are usually very power hungry and not suited for low-power applications. On one side, we developed at TIMA low-power solutions based on two main strategies: asynchronous design and sparse sampling techniques. Thanks to these techniques, image sensors are not permanently scanning a scene, reducing the produced amount of data and consequently the power consumption. On the other side, Orioma develops IR solutions for IoT applications, which highly power-efficient IR image systems. Therefore, Orioma and TIMA collaborate on the definition on new low-power IR image systems able to target the IoT market.

Proposed Work
The PhD candidate will be in charge of developing a new IR image sensor system based on a microbolometer array and an on-chip integrated circuitry able to sparsely sample and process the image. The proposed approach exploits event-based pixels - which will be jointly developed with an engineer - and an asynchronous strategy for the readout and the image pre-processing. This asynchronous readout will be helpful for reducing the throughput and compressing the data, which is a requirement for low-power operations.
The objectives of the PhD is to develop an original event-based strategy for an IR image sensor readout and to design a dedicated readout circuit. Moreover, the study will take into account the specificity of IR sensing, the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) and an integrated strategy for calibrating the microbolomoters. The long-term goal targets a fully integrated implementation with on-board calibration and preprocessing.

See complete information to : follow the link

Contact person: See attached document