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Title: ReGDS: A Reverse Engineering Framework from GDSII to Gate-level Netlist
With many fabless companies outsourcing integrated circuit (IC) fabrication, the extent of design information recoverable by any third-party foundry remains clouded. While traditional reverse engineering schemes from the layout employ expensive high-resolution imaging techniques to recover design information, the extent of design information that can be recovered by the foundry remains ambiguous. To address this ambiguity, we propose ReGDS, a layout reverse engineering (RE) framework, posing as an inside-foundry attack to acquire original design intent. Our framework uses the layout, in GDSII format, and the technology library to extract the transistor-level connectivity information, and exploits unique relationship-based matching to identify logic gates and thereby, recover the original gate-level netlist. Employing circuits ranging from few hundreds to millions of transistors, we validate the scalability of our framework and demonstrate 100% recovery of the original design from the layout. To further validate the effectiveness of the framework in the presence of obfuscation schemes, we apply ReGDS to layouts of conventional XOR/MUX locked circuits and successfully recover the obfuscated netlist. By applying the Boolean SATisfiability (SAT) attack on the recovered obfuscated netlist, one can recover the entire key and, thereby, retrieve the original design intent. Thus ReGDS results in accelerated acquisition of the gate-level netlist by the attacker, in comparison to imaging-based RE schemes. Our experiments unearth the potential threat of possible intellectual property (IP) piracy at any third-party foundry.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST)
Page Range / eLocation ID:
154 to 163
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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