Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems

Colloborative project: BioNanoLock

Bio-Nanoelectronic based Logic Locking for Secure Systems

Motivation and Objectives

The new-age processor is going to require hardware-oriented solutions as a primary design criterion for the security against threats. Alternative computational architectures proposed in recent years drive this idea by the inclusion of multi-value logic operations. The realization of multi-value logic gates and testing the advantages of polymorphic inputs and outputs of a circuit, however, remains elusive due to the existing technology gap. In this project, we put forward a new logic-locking framework that will allow us to incorporate multi-value and multi-layer logic with existing CMOS-based logic-locking architectures. Enabling future-generation processors with BioNanoLock is the prime target of the project with small (10-100 logic gates) to medium-sized (100-10000 logic gates) circuits as an intermediate goal. We also envision developing heterogeneous integrated systems for secure information processing in the long-term.



In BioNanoLock, an encoded DNA sequence acts as a secret ‘biological activation-key’. This key is molecularly recognized as a unique and secret pattern of key-gates (called biological key-gates) or activates them.

This, in turn, enables the CMOS-based key-gates in the logic-locked circuit with the appropriate key value. Different voltage-levels in the multi-valued logic define the “on” or “off” state of the key-gates, thereby adding another level of ambiguity for an attacker and making it harder for the attacker to unlock the circuit.

Innovation Perspectives

Moving away from the classical CMOS-based techniques for logic locking, the BioNanoLock project enables the researchers to delve into novel logic locking techniques. The project also provides opportunities to map the new logic locking paradigms and attack methodologies to a different class of problems in the complexity theory. As novel simulation methodologies are unexplored in the interdisciplinary domain, the project provides ample opportunities for research and innovation.



IWE1, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Funded by

DFG Priority Programme “Nano Security: From Nano-Electronics to Secure Systems” (SPP 2253)