Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems

Thermal sidechannels on MAGIC Logic-in-Memory


Memristors are resistors which change their resistance when current flows through them.

When combined into a crossbar and operated using the MAGIC logic family, they can perform Boolean logic.

The computation happens in-memory, eliminating von-Neumann bottleneck.



New computing hardware also comes with new security challenges. In this master thesis, we investigate thermal sidechannels on MAGIC Logic-in-Memory. Specifically, we adapt existing tools and combine them in new ways to simulate heat flow inside a chip during MAGIC operation. We study if chip temperatures could be used to detect which boolean function is being executed.



  • Enhance our AUTOSPICE-framework to support MAGIC. This will generate scenario files for SPICE simulators. AUTOSPICE can mostly do this already, just some finishing touches are needed
  • Run SPICE simulations for several boolean functions and gather the resulting power traces
  • Perform heat flow simulation using 3D-ICE. We have done this before, this work just requires formatting the new input power traces and running 3D-ICE.
  • Generate heatmaps from the results
  • Compare them with the original boolean functions
  • Evaluate how feasible it is to recover the boolean function given the heatmap


Lorenzo Pfeifer


  • Good knowledge of Python
  • Interest in low level hardware
  • Knowledge of Linux and SSH



In case of interest, send me an email including the latest transcript of your records, a description of your background and your CV, if available.