Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Ouahab, Yahia



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Design-for-Test (DFT) techniques have been developed to improve testability of integrated circuits. Among the known DFT techniques, scan-based testing is considered an efficient solution for digital circuits. However, scan architecture can be exploited to launch a side channel attack. Scan chains can be used to access a cryptographic core inside a system-on-chip to extract critical information such as a private encryption key. For a scan enabled chip, if an attacker is given unlimited access to apply all sorts of inputs to the Circuit-Under-Test (CUT) and observe the outputs, the probability of gaining access to critical information increases. In this thesis, solutions are presented to improve hardware security and protect them against attacks using scan architecture. A solution based on tester authentication is presented in which, the CUT requests the tester to provide a secret code for authentication. The tester authentication circuit limits the access to the scan architecture to known testers. Moreover, in the proposed solution the number of attempts to apply test vectors and observe the results through the scan architecture is limited to make brute-force attacks practically impossible. A tester authentication utilizing a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) to encrypt the operating frequency of both DUT/Tester has also been presented. In this method, the access to the critical security circuits such as crypto-cores are not granted in the test mode. Instead, a built-in self-test method is used in the test mode to protect the circuit against scan-based attacks. Security for new generation of three-dimensional (3D) integrated circuits has been investigated through 3D simulations COMSOL Multiphysics environment. It is shown that the process of wafer thinning for 3D stacked IC integration reduces the leakage current which increases the chip security against side-channel attacks.