HDRL: Homogeneous Dual-Rail Logic For DPA Attack Resistive Secure Circuit Design

Tech ID: 21209 / UC Case 2011-151-0

Brief Description

HDRL (Homogeneous Dual-Rail Logic) is a standard cell level DPA (Differential Power Analysis) attack countermeasure that theoretically guarantees fully-balanced power consumption and has been shown to significantly improve the DPA attack resistivity of hardware with low energy overhead and no delay overhead over conventional countermeasures.

Full Description

Differential Power Analysis (DPA) side-channel attacks pose serious threats for embedded system security. Wave Dynamic Differential Logic (WDDL) was proposed as a countermeasure that can be incorporated into a conventional ASIC design flow using standard cells. However, simulations show that DPA attacks on WDDL still leak secret keys to adversaries. To respond to this critical industry need, UCI researchers have created Homogeneous Dual-Rail Logic (HDRL), a standard cell level DPA attack countermeasure that theoretically guarantees fully balanced power consumption and significantly improves the DPA attack resistivity of hardware. Experimental results on the AES S-Box circuit show that HDRL successfully prevent DPA attacks in all cases. In addition, HDRL achieves such higher security with only 100.0% energy overhead while WDDL incurs 231.7% energy overhead. Also, HDRL requires the same area overhead as WDDL. HDRL’s better resistivity and lower energy overhead make it a promising countermeasure for standard cell based crypto-applications.

Suggested uses

HDRL is applicable to any standard cell-based crypto-LSI that deals with personal information. Possible applications include smart cards, mobile devices, SIM cards, and health monitoring devices. When one designs LSIs for such applications, the designer is able to achieve high DPA (Differential Power Analysis) attack resistivity using HDRL.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 9,240,786 01/19/2016 2011-151
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,395,408 03/12/2013 2011-151


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  • Dutt, Nikil D.
  • Tanimura, Kazuyuki

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