Revisiting logic locking for reversible computing

Nimisha Limaye, Muhammad Yasin, Ozgur Sinanoglu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Analogous to CMOS circuits, we can expect attacks such as integrated circuit (IC) counterfeiting, piracy through reverse engineering (RE) or over-production, and insertion of hardware Trojans to be launched on emerging class of reversible circuits, which is a promising alternative to standard CMOS technology. In this paper, we explore the possibility of securing reversible circuits against IP piracy and RE attacks using state-of-the-art logic locking techniques. Our security analysis reveals that applying existing techniques as is on reversible circuits creates new vulnerabilities due to inherent reversible properties. We propose low overhead (around 0.013x for gate count, 0.0004x for T-count and 0.02x for quantum cost on average) defense strategies that overcome these vulnerabilities and protect the circuits from all known attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728111735
StatePublished - May 2019
Event2019 IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2019 - Baden-Baden, Germany
Duration: May 27 2019May 31 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Test Workshop
ISSN (Print)1530-1877
ISSN (Electronic)1558-1780


Conference2019 IEEE European Test Symposium, ETS 2019


  • Equivalence checker
  • IP piracy
  • Reverse engineering
  • Reversible circuits
  • Stripped functionality logic locking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Software


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