Visible to the public TWC: Large: Collaborative: Verifiable Hardware: Chips that Prove their Own CorrectnessConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Lead PI

Performance Period

Jul 01, 2016 - Jul 31, 2016


University of Virginia Main Campus

Award Number

Outcomes Report URL

This project addresses how semiconductor designers can verify the correctness of ICs that they source from possibly untrusted fabricators. Existing solutions to this problem are either based on legal and contractual obligations, or use post-fabrication IC testing, both of which are unsatisfactory or unsound. As a sound alternative, this project designs and fabricates verifiable hardware: ICs that provide proofs of their correctness for every input-output computation they perform in the field. These proofs must be efficiently verifiable in less time and energy than it takes to re-execute the computation itself.

Building upon exciting recent theoretical and practical advances in verifiable outsourced computation for the cloud, this project develops new techniques that exploit the unique constraints and adversary models that relate to the verifiable hardware problem. In addition, the project also develops new practical approaches to the problem of general verifiable computation. As a broader impact, computing systems security is one of the greatest technological problems faced by society today. Verifiable hardware is an essential foundation for building future computing systems that are reliable and free from catastrophic security failures. The ultimate goal of this project is to make verifiable hardware practical and accessible for use in cryptographic and mission-critical hardware applications through open-source tools. The PIs are strongly committed to education and public outreach by producing widely-used course materials and taking active roles in outreach at minority-serving universities, community colleges, student organizations and high schools.