Cybersecurity researchers design a chip that checks for sabotage

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A chip with both an embedded module that proves that its calculations are correct and an external module that validates the first module’s proofs was developed Siddharth Garg, and assistant professor of electrical and a fellow researchers.

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Greg said that “Employing an external verification unit made by a trusted fabricator means that I can go to an untrusted foundry to produce a chip that has not only the circuitry performing computations, but also a module that presents proofs of correctness.”

The designer of the chip then gets a trusted foundry to build a separate, less complex module: an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit),who main job is to validate the product.

Greg said that this arrangement provides a safety net for the chip maker and the end user. “Under the current system, i can get a chip back from a foundry with the embedded trojan . It might not show up during post-fabrication testing.

The researchers next plan to investigate techniques to reduce both the overhead that generating and verifying proofs imposes on a system and the bandwidth required between the prover and verifier chips.