At the end of March, the 2022 edition of the International Symposium on Physical Design took place, part of which was a student competition to solve hardware security problems, in which doctoral students from the Centre for Hardware Security of the School of IT participated and won third place in the intense competition.
According to the director of the Centre, Professor Samuel Pagliarini, PhD students Felipe Almeida, Mohammad Eslami and Tiago Perez worked for eight weeks on the problem and had to come up with optimized layouts to protect circuits against hardware trojans, fault injection, and physical probing threats. The supervisor of the team, Professor Pagliarini, was very pleased with the performance, as the level of the 18th edition of the competition was very high. A total of 17 teams took part, of which only eight reached the finals.
According to PhD student Tiago Perez, "the first and second place went to teams from universities in Hong Kong and Taiwan, which have traditionally been very strong in circuit design, and we were all the more pleased with the third place,” Perez said, adding that their main competitors’ teams were twice as big. Participating in the competition was very useful for Tiago Perez - in addition to his experience in the competition and the prize, he also developed important material for writing his doctoral dissertation and publishing research articles on hardware Trojans.