Opening the Doors toDynamic Camouflaging: Harnessing the Power of Polymorphic Devices

Nikhil Rangarajan, Satwik Patnaik, Johann Knechtel, Ramesh Karri, Ozgur Sinanoglu, Shaloo Rakheja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The era of widespread globalization has led to the emergence of hardware-centric security threats throughout the IC supply chain. Prior defenses like logic locking, layout camouflaging, and split manufacturing have been researched extensively to protect against intellectual property (IP) piracy at different stages. In this work, we present dynamic camouflaging as a new technique to thwart IP reverse engineering at all stages in the supply chain, viz., the foundry, the test facility, and the end-user. Toward this end, we exploit the multi-functionality, post-fabrication reconfigurability, and run-time polymorphism of spin-based devices, specifically the magneto-electric spin-orbit (MESO) device. Leveraging these unique properties, dynamic camouflaging is shown to be resilient against state-of-the-art analytical SAT-based attacks and test-data mining attacks. Such dynamic reconfigurability is not afforded in CMOS owing to fundamental differences in operation. For such MESO-based camouflaging, we also anticipate massive savings in power, performance, and area over other spin-based camouflaging schemes, due to the energy-efficient electric-field driven reversal of the MESO device. Based on thorough experimentation, we outline the promises of dynamic camouflaging in securing the supply chain end-to-end along with a case study, demonstrating the efficacy of dynamic camouflaging in securing error-tolerant image processing IP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-156
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Dynamic camouflaging
  • Dynamic morphing
  • Functional polymorphism
  • Hardware security
  • IP protection
  • Layout camouflaging
  • Post-fabrication reconfigurability
  • Spin devices
  • dynamic morphing
  • layout camouflaging
  • dynamic camouflaging
  • post-fabrication reconfigurability
  • functional polymorphism
  • spin devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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