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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Daniel Holcomb

Subject Categories

VLSI and Circuits, Embedded and Hardware Systems


In the era of IoT and ubiquitous computing, the collection and communication of sensitive data is increasingly being handled by lightweight Integrated Circuits. Efficient hardware implementations of crytographic primitives for resource constrained applications have become critical, especially block ciphers which perform fundamental operations such as encryption, decryption, and even hashing. We study the efficiency of block ciphers under different implementation styles. For low latency applications that use unrolled block cipher implementations, we design a glitch filter to reduce energy consumption. For lightweight applications, we design a novel architecture for the widely used AES cipher. The design eliminates inefficiencies in data movement and clock activity, thereby significantly improving energy efficiency over state-of-the-art architectures. Apart from efficiency, vulnerability to implementation attacks are a concern, which we mitigate by our randomization capable lightweight AES architecture. We fabricate our designs in a commercial 16nm FinFET technology and present measured testchip data on energy consumption and side channel resistance. Finally, we address the problem of supply chain security by using image processing techniques to extract fingerprints from surface texture of plastic IC packages for IC authentication and counterfeit prevention. Collectively these works present efficient and cost effective solutions to secure lightweight systems.