Protecting DSP circuits through obfuscation

Yingjie Lao, Keshab K. Parhi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel approach to protect digital signal processing (DSP) circuits through obfuscation by using high-level transformations. The goal is to design DSP circuits that are harder to reverse engineer. High-level transformations of iterative data-flow graphs have been exploited for area-speed-power tradeoffs. This is the first attempt to develop a design flow to apply high-level transformations that not only meet these tradeoffs but also simultaneously obfuscate the architectures both structurally and functionally. Several modes of operations are introduced for obfuscation where the outputs are either meaningful from a signal processing point of view, but functionally incorrect, or non-meaningful. Experimental results show that the proposed methodology only introduces relatively small overhead, while a high level of obfuscation is achieved. For instance, the area overhead for a (3l)th-order IIR filter benchmark is only 17.7% with a 128-bit configuration key.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2014 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781479934324
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event2014 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2014 - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: Jun 1 2014Jun 5 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
ISSN (Print)0271-4310


Other2014 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2014
CityMelbourne, VIC


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