REU Supplement CAREER: Utilizing Principles of Energy Recovery Computing for Low-Energy and DPA-Resistant IoT Devices

  • Thapliyal, Himanshu (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The PI is requesting REU supplement requests for two undergraduate students during Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. The project will support two undergraduate research assistants for 500 hrs. (12.5 weeks). In the ongoing NSF CAREER project, the PI is developing circuit design techniques for energy-recovery circuits and a library of such design cells to facilitate low-power implementation of block cipher for mobile Internet- of-Things (IoT) devices, where reducing power consumption is critical. The undergraduate students will initially work with the PI and the graduate students to acquire the skill set necessary to do the project. They will learn how to use the VLSI EDA tools, introduction to cyber/hardware security, side-channel attacks, and introduction to security issues in IoT devices. As an undergraduate researcher in the PI’s laboratory, the students will learn valuable skills such as teamwork and collaboration while building networks through interaction with industry experts. During the ongoing NSF sponsored project, the PI has proposed novel energy recovery logic families that have minimal energy loss and are resistant to DPA. For the REU supplement requests, the PI has identified several specific projects for the students during Summer 2021 and Fall 2021. These projects aim to make energy recovery (ER) circuits as an attractive, standard, and mainstream platform for designing secure and low-energy IoT devices. Novel ER logic styles coupled with standard cell library will quickly and easily lead to the realization of low-energy and DPA-resistant cryptographic circuits. Specific projects include: • Project 1: Investigate and develop standard cell library. • Project 2: Post-layout evaluation of low-power and DPA-resistant energy recovery (ER) based cryptographic circuits. • Project 3: To investigate energy recovery (ER) based cryptographic circuits in low-leakage emerging devices. • Project 4: Building energy recovery (ER) based Physically Unclonable functions (PUFs) and True Random Number Generators (TRNGs). The PI have had the experience of mentoring many undergraduate students on their research and have several jointly authored publications. For this REU project, historically underrepresented minorities, women, and first-generation students are the target populations for recruitment as members of these groups are less likely to persist in STEM fields once they enter their undergraduate education. To recruit the minority students, the PI will heavily publicize the REU opportunities in the undergraduate mailing lists at the University of Kentucky. The PI will advertise the REU opportunities at the Kentucky State University (KSU) at Frankfort, Kentucky to increase minority participation in the area of cyber/hardware security. KSU is the first HBCU in Kentucky. To develop a hardware security and cybersecurity curriculum, the PI has collaborated with the faculty at the University of Kentucky to develop the University of Kentucky’s undergraduate cybersecurity certificate program. The PI is serving as the co-director of the University of Kentucky’s undergraduate cybersecurity certificate program. Several students are being enrolled and trained in cybersecurity. The details of the certificate program are available at The PI plans to provide research opportunity to an undergraduate female student in his lab who is currently enrolled or plan to enroll in the undergraduate cybersecurity certificate program. 1
Effective start/end date4/5/2112/15/21


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