A Nonvolatile Flip-Flop-Enabled Cryptographic Wireless Authentication Tag With Per-Query Key Update and Power-Glitch Attack Countermeasures

Hyung Min Lee, Chiraag S. Juvekar, Joyce Kwong, Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Counterfeiting is a major issue plaguing global supply chains. In order to mitigate this problem, a wireless authentication tag is presented that implements a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator and authenticated encryption modes. The tag uses Keccak, the cryptographic core of SHA3, to update keys before each protocol invocation, limiting side-channel leakage. Power-glitch attacks are mitigated through state backup on ferroelectric capacitor-based nonvolatile flip-flops with a fully integrated energy backup storage, which needs a 2.2 × smaller area compared with conventional approaches. The 130 nm CMOS tag harvests wireless power through a 433 MHz inductive link and communicates with a reader by a pulse-based modulation that minimizes the wireless power dead time. The proposed regulating voltage multiplier simultaneously rectifies, boosts, and regulates a >0.55 V ac input to a 1.5 V supply voltage with <1.1% line and load regulation while requiring only one on-chip decoupling capacitor. The bidirectional data telemetry operates at 125 kb/s, while requiring 4% (downlink) and 6.25% (uplink) duty cycles. Full system operation including the tag, reader, and server protocol is demonstrated in the presence of worst-case power interruption events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7797557
Pages (from-to)272-283
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Authentication tag
  • cryptographic engine
  • encryption
  • energy backup
  • ferroelectric capacitor (FeCap)
  • inductive link
  • power-glitch attack
  • pulse-based wireless telemetry
  • side-channel attack
  • wireless power transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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