Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair

Biswajit Ray

Committee Member

Aleksandar Milenkovic

Committee Member

David Pan

Committee Member

Tauhidur Rahman

Committee Member

Sarma Rani


Flash memories (Computers)--Security measures., Integrated circuits--Verification., Integrated circuits--Security measures., Product counterfeiting.


Counterfeit electronics is a serious problem for ensuring the security and reliability of any electronic system. Unfortunately, the number of counterfeit components has increased considerably after the introduction of horizontal semiconductor supply chain. Various types of counterfeit ICs – recycled, remarked, overproduced, out-of-spec/defective, cloned, forged documentation, and tampered – have made the supply chain vulnerable to various attacks. Recycled and remarked are the most common counterfeit types among all of them; almost 80% of total counterfeiting. This dissertation focus on providing anti-counterfeit solutions for securing the supply chain of NAND flash chips. There are very few existing solutions on detecting counterfeit flash memories, and unfortunately, all of them require an extensive database to maintain. In some cases, the existing techniques rely on complex postprocessing, require excessive cost and time to implement. This research has addressed the aforementioned issues by developing four distinct anti-counterfeit measures for flash memories. The solutions are named as (1) aging-resistant flash physical unclonable function, (2) flash-watermark, (3) Flash-DNA, and (4) flash timing degradation analysis. The proposed solutions rely on the intrinsic device properties of flash memory cells which are fundamentally tied to the NAND fabrication process. All of the proposed methods are verified using several commercial-off-the-shelf flash memories from major manufacturers. The proposed methods do not require complex post-processing or hardware modifications, can be implemented in the firmware of memory controllers and is widely applicable to all electronic devices utilizing flash memories. Hence, all the proposed techniques are inexpensive, and non-destructive.



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