Date of Award

Fall 2021

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Qiaoyan Yu

Second Advisor

Edward Song

Third Advisor

Se Young Yoon


Three-dimensional (3D) integration is emerging as promising techniques for high-performance and low-power integrated circuit (IC, a.k.a. chip) design. As 3D chips require more manufacturing phases than conventional planar ICs, more fabrication foundries are involved in the supply chain of 3D ICs. Due to the globalized semiconductor business model, the extended IC supply chain could incur more security challenges on maintaining the integrity, confidentiality, and reliability of integrated circuits and systems. In this work, we analyze the potential security threats induced by the integration techniques for 3D ICs and propose effective attack detection and mitigation methods. More specifically, we first propose a comprehensive characterization for 3D hardware Trojans in the 3D stacking structure. Practical experiment based quantitative analyses have been performed to assess the impact of 3D Trojans on computing systems. Our analysis shows that advanced attackers could exploit the limitation of the most recent 3D IC testing standard IEEE Standard 1838 to bypass the tier-level testing and successfully implement a powerful TSV-Trojan in 3D chips. We propose an enhancement for IEEE Standard 1838 to facilitate the Trojan detection on two neighboring tiers simultaneously. Next, we develop two 3D Trojan detection methods. The proposed frequency-based Trojan-activity identification (FTAI) method can differentiate the frequency changes induced by Trojans from those caused by process variation noise, outperforming the existing time-domain Trojan detection approaches by 38% in Trojan detection rate. Our invariance checking based Trojan detection method leverages the invariance among the 3D communication infrastructure, 3D network-on-chips (NoCs), to tackle the cross-tier 3D hardware Trojans, achieving a Trojan detection rate of over 94%. Furthermore, this work investigates another type of common security threat, side-channel attacks. We first propose to group the supply voltages of different 3D tiers temporally to drive the crypto unit implemented in 3D ICs such that the noise in power distribution network (PDN) can be induced to obfuscate the original power traces and thus mitigates correlation power analysis (CPA) attacks. Furthermore, we study the side-channel attack on the logic locking mechanism in monolithic 3D ICs and propose a logic-cone conjunction (LCC) method and a configuration guideline for the transistor-level logic locking to strengthen its resilience against CPA attacks.