Exploiting Process Variations to Secure Photonic NoC Architectures from Snooping Attacks

Sai Vineel Reddy Chittamuru, Ishan G. Thakkar, Sudeep Pasricha, Sairam Sri Vatsavai, Varun Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The compact size and high wavelength-selectivity of microring resonators (MRs) enable photonic networks-on-chip (PNoCs) to utilize dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) in their photonic waveguides, and as a result, attain high bandwidth on-chip data transfers. Unfortunately, a hardware Trojan (HT) in a PNoC can manipulate the electrical driving circuit of its MRs to cause the MRs to snoop data from the neighboring wavelength channels in a shared photonic waveguide, which introduces a serious security threat. This article presents a framework that utilizes process variation-based authentication signatures along with architecture-level enhancements to protect against data-snooping HT during unicast as well as multicast transfers in PNoCs. The evaluation results indicate that our framework can improve hardware security across various PNoC architectures with minimal overheads of up to 14.2% in average latency and of up to 14.6% in energy-delay-product (EDP).

Original languageEnglish
Article number9158389
Pages (from-to)850-863
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received November 29, 2019; revised March 19, 2020 and June 3 2020; accepted July 16, 2020. Date of publication August 4, 2020; date of current version April 21, 2021. This work was supported in part by a seed grant from the University of Kentucky, and in part by NSF under Grant CCF-1813370. (Corresponding author: Ishan G. Thakkar.) Sai Vineel Reddy Chittamuru is with Micron Technology, Inc., Austin, TX 78728 USA (e-mail: schittamuru@micron.com).

Publisher Copyright:
© 1982-2012 IEEE.


  • Data encryption
  • data snooping
  • hardware Trojan (HT)
  • photonic networks-on-chip (PNoCs)
  • process variations (PVs)
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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