A Novel Approach to Unsupervised Automated Extraction of Standard Cell Library for Reverse Engineering and Hardware Assurance

Wednesday, November 13, 2019: 2:05 PM
F 150/151 (Oregon Convention Center)
Mr. Ronald Wilson , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Rabin Y. Acharya , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Prof. Domenic Forte , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Prof. Navid Asadizanjani presented by Mukhil Azhagan , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Prof. Damon L. Woodard , University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


Reverse engineering today is supported by several tools, such as ICWorks, that assist in the processing and extraction of logic elements from high definition layer by layer images of integrated circuits. To the best of our knowledge, they all work under the assumption that the standard cell library used in the design process of the integrated circuit is available. However, in situations where reverse engineering is done on commercial off-the-shelf components, this information is not available thereby rendering the assumption invalid. Until now, this problem has not been addressed. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach for the extraction of standard cell library using the contact layer from these images. The approach is completely automated and does not require any prior knowledge on the construction or layout of the target semiconductor integrated circuit. The performance of the approach is evaluated on two AES designs with 10,000 cells compiled from standard libraries with 32nm and 90nm node technologies having 350 and 340 standard cells respectively. We were able to successfully extract 94% and 60% of the standard cells from the 32nm and 90nm AES designs using the proposed approach. Finally, we also investigate the various challenges involved in the extraction of standard cells from images and the steps involved in resolving them.