Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yong C. Kim, PhD.


Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are being used for military and other sensitive applications, the threat of an adversary attacking these devices is an ever present danger. While having the ability to be reconfigured is helpful for development, it also poses the risk of its hardware design being cloned. Static random access memory (SRAM) FPGA's are the most common type of FPGA used in industry. Every time an SRAM-FPGA is powered up, its configuration must be downloaded. If an adversary is able to obtain that configuration, they can clone sensitive designs to other FPGAs. A technique that can be used to protect FPGAs from these types of attacks is known as Digital Fingerprinting (DF). DF takes advantage of the manufacturing variability that naturally occurs in the integrated circuit fabrication process. If another factor can be introduced making the FPGA's operation dependent on more than the design specified within its configuration and response to external outputs, we can defend against cloning. This solution would allow for an FPGA's operation to be dependent on how the downloaded configuration interacts with the hardware itself. This research uses DF technology to create unique device specific keys for use as encryption keys or control values for polymorphic circuits to protect information on FPGAs.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number