Project TitleTracking Circuit for Hardware Security and Reconfiguration
Track Code2015-056
Short Description

Novel integrated circuit for tracking CMOS chip usage

#electronics #devices #fabrication #semiconductor #component #nanotechnology


A Northwestern researcher has developed a novel circuit that can be used to track usage of silicon complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips in electronic devices. Silicon CMOS chips deteriorate over time, which can lead to both security and performance problems with electronic devices. Current methods for assessing CMOS chip age require days of operation before an assessment is complete and can be costly. Prof. Gu has designed a new circuit that can track silicon aging in CMOS devices by applying both device-level and system-level acceleration technique. This method will allow CMOS chip usage to be determined within seconds of operation and would only consume 25 μW of power. In addition, this tracking circuit has a self-contained design and a small size (45nm), which should allow it to be easily implemented into various electronic devices. Quick and efficient determination of CMOS chip usage could prevent hardware security breaches as well as provide users with information about when to reconfigure their devices to optimize performance.

TagsDEVICES: fabrication, electronics, nanotechnology, SEMICONDUCTOR: component
Posted DateJun 4, 2015 1:34 PM


Jie Gu*


  • Hardware security control
  • Usage-dependent hardware configuration
  • Prevention of chip resale and recycling


  • Fast
  • Cost-effective
  • Self-contained design


IP Status

Provisional patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Arjan Quist, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847-467-0305