Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Computer Science and Engineering

Major Professor

Nagarajan Ranganathan


Charge Based Computing, DPA Attacks, Encryption, Memory, Power


Programmable reversible logic is emerging as a prospective logic design style for implementation in modern nanotechnology and quantum computing with minimal impact on circuit heat generation. Adiabatic logic is a design methodology for reversible logic in CMOS where the current flow through the circuit is controlled such that the energy dissipation due to switching and capacitor dissipation is minimized. Recent advances in reversible logic using and quantum computer algorithms allow for improved computer architectures. Production of cost-effective Secure Integrated Chips, such as Smart Cards, requires hardware designers to consider tradeoffs in size, security, and power consumption. In order to design successful security-centric designs, the low-level hardware must contain built-in protection mechanisms to supplement cryptographic algorithms such as AES and Triple DES by preventing side channel attacks, such as Differential Power Analysis (DPA). Dynamic logic obfuscates the output waveforms and the circuit operation, reducing the effectiveness of the DPA attack. Significant research exists in the design and analysis of locally optimal adiabatic elements towards mitigation of side channel attacks. However, none of these works have addressed the use of adiabatic logic in implementation of flexible and programmable hardware security policies. Nor has adiabatic logic been employed in hardware security applications such as trustworthy voting systems and data encryption standards.

In this dissertation, I address theory, synthesis, and application of adiabatic and reversible logic circuits for security applications. First, two major debates in reversible computing are addressed. These debates must be addressed in order to devise computational logic primitives in

any emerging quantum computing technology. First, we address whether charged based computing is limited due to the use of charge as a state variable. We propose the use of body biasing in CMOS adiabatic systems as a design methodology for reducing the need for gradually changing the energy barriers. Simulation results in HSPICE at 22nm are presented which show behavior of a source-memory device operating at sub-Landauer operation. Second, we address whether reversible logic can be used to design sequential computing structures, such as memory devices. we present an analysis of Quantum Turing Machines with sequential reversible logic structures, to show that the entropy gain is substantially less than the Landauer Barrier of kTln(2), which is the limiting factor for irreversible computing. A mathematical proof is presented showing bit erasure does not occur in sequential reversible logic structures, and that these devices are physically reversible as long as appropriate delay elements are inserted in the feedback paths to prevent race conditions. This proof validates implementation of sequential reversible logic towards ultra-low power computing.

Next, a novel algorithm for synthesis of adiabatic circuits in CMOS is proposed. This approach is unique because it correlates the offsets in the permutation matrix to the transistors required for synthesis, instead of determining an equivalent circuit and substituting a previously synthesized circuit from a library. Parallelism is used, and the bijective properties of the device to achieve synthesis of the logic structure in O(n) time. Then, using the ESPRESSO heuristic for minimization of Boolean functions method on each output node in parallel, we optimize the synthesized circuit. It is demonstrated that the algorithm produces a 32.86% improvement over previously synthesized circuit benchmarks.

For stronger mitigation of DPA attacks, we propose the implementation of Adiabatic Dynamic Differential Logic for applications in secure IC design. Such an approach is effective in reducing power consumption, demonstrated using HSPICE simulations with 22nm predictive technology. The benefits of our design are demonstrated by comparing instantaneous power waveforms and observing the magnitude of differential power spikes during switching events. First, simulation results for body-biasing on sub-threshold adiabatic inverters show an improvement in differential power up to 43.28% for similar inverters without body biasing. Then, a High Performance Adiabatic Dynamic Differential Logic (PADDL) is presented for an implementation in high frequency secure ICs. This method improves the differential power over previous dynamic and differential logic methods by up to 89.65%. Finally, we propose a Body-Biased Adiabatic Dynamic Differential Logic (BADDL) for ultra-low power applications. Simulation results show that the differential power was improved upon by a factor of 199.16.

Then, we present an adiabatic S-box which significantly reduces energy imbalance compared to previous benchmarks. The design is capable of forward encryption and reverse decryption with minimal overhead, allowing for efficient hardware reuse.