Spanish National Research Council · University of Seville
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IMSE-CNM in Digital.CSIC


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Author: Martínez Rodríguez, Macarena C.
Year: Since 2002
All publications
Design of Trusted Piecewise-Affine Controllers and Virtual Sensors into CMOS Integrated Circuits
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez
Thesis - Date of defense: 25/06/2018
This Ph.D. Dissertation presents hardware realizations to generate PWA functions that are easy to configure and program, and that allow including embedded controllers and sensors into challenging applications requiring very small size, low power consumption, rapid response, short time-to-market, and security in the data provided by the hardware as well as integrity of the hardware itself.

A comparative analysis of VLSI trusted virtual sensors
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Journal Paper - Microprocessors and Microsystems, vol. 61, pp 108-116, 2018
ELSEVIER    DOI: 10.1016/j.micpro.2018.05.016    ISSN: 0141-9331    » doi
This paper analyzes three cryptographic modules suitable for digital designs of trusted virtual sensors into integrated circuits, using 90-nm CMOS technology. One of them, based on the keyed-hash message authentication code (HMAC) standard employing a PHOTON-80/20/16 lightweight hash function, ensures integrity and authentication of the virtual measurement. The other two, based on CAESAR (the Competition for Authenticated Encryption: Security, Applicability, and Robustness) third-round candidates AEGIS-128 and ASCON-128, ensure also confidentiality. The cryptographic key required is not stored in the sensor but recovered in a configuration operation mode from non-sensitive data stored in the non-volatile memory of the sensor and from the start-up values of the sensor SRAM acting as a Physical Unclonable Function (PUF), thus ensuring that the sensor is not counterfeit. The start-up values of the SRAM are also employed in the configuration operation mode to generate the seed of the nonces that make sensor outputs different and, hence, resistant to replay attacks. The configuration operation mode is slower if using CAESAR candidates because the cryptographic key and nonce have 128 bits instead of the 60 bits of the key and 32 bits of the nonce in HMAC. Configuration takes 416.8 μs working at 50 MHz using HMAC and 426.2 μs using CAESAR candidates. In the other side, the trusted sensing mode is much faster with CAESAR candidates with similar power consumption. Trusted sensing takes 212.62 μs at 50 MHz using HMAC, 0.72 μs using ASCON, and 0.42 μs using AEGIS. AEGIS allows the fastest trusted measurements at the cost of more silicon area, 4.4 times more area than HMAC and 5.4 times more than ASCON. ASCON allows fast measurements with the smallest area occupation. The module implementing ASCON occupies 0.026 mm2 in a 90-nm CMOS technology.

VLSI Design of Trusted Virtual Sensors
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, M.A. Prada-Delgado, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Journal Paper - Sensors, vol. 18, no. 2, article 347, 2018
MDPI    DOI: 10.3390/s18020347    ISSN: 1424-8220    » doi
This work presents a Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) design of trusted virtual sensors providing a minimum unitary cost and very good figures of size, speed and power consumption. The sensed variable is estimated by a virtual sensor based on a configurable and programmable PieceWise-Affine hyper-Rectangular (PWAR) model. An algorithm is presented to find the best values of the programmable parameters given a set of (empirical or simulated) input-output data. The VLSI design of the trusted virtual sensor uses the fast authenticated encryption algorithm, AEGIS, to ensure the integrity of the provided virtual measurement and to encrypt it, and a Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) based on a Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) to ensure the integrity of the sensor itself. Implementation results of a prototype designed in a 90-nm Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology show that the active silicon area of the trusted virtual sensor is 0.86 mm 2 and its power consumption when trusted sensing at 50 MHz is 7.12 mW. The maximum operation frequency is 85 MHz, which allows response times lower than 0.25 μs. As application example, the designed prototype was programmed to estimate the yaw rate in a vehicle, obtaining root mean square errors lower than 1.1%. Experimental results of the employed PUF show the robustness of the trusted sensing against aging and variations of the operation conditions, namely, temperature and power supply voltage (final value as well as ramp-up time).

Remote Sensing of Cell-Culture Assays
P. Pérez, A. Maldonado-Jacobi, A.J. López, C. Martínez, A. Olmo, G. Huertas and A. Yufera
Book Chapter - New Insights into Cell Culture Technology, pp 135-155, 2017
INTECH    DOI: 10.5772/67496    ISBN: 978-953-51-3133-5    » doi
This chapter describes a full system developed to perform the remote sensing of cell-culture experiments from any access point with internet connection. The proposed system allows the real-time monitoring of cell assays thanks to bioimpedance measurement circuits developed to count the number of cell present in a culture. Cell-culture characterization is performed through the measurement of the increasing bioimpedance parameter over time. The circuit implementation is based on the oscillation-based test (OBT) methodology. Bioimpedance of cell cultures is measured in terms of the oscillation parameters (frequency, amplitude, phase, etc.) and used as empirical markers to carry out an appropriate interpretation in terms of cell size identification, cell counting, cell growth, growth rhythm, etc. The device is capable of managing the whole sensing task and performs wireless communication through a Bluetooth module. Data are interpreted and displayed on a computer or a mobile phone through a web application. The system has its practical application in drug development processes, offering a label-free, high-throughput, and high-content screening method for cellular research, avoiding the classical end-point techniques and a significant workload and cost material reduction.

CMOS digital design of a trusted virtual sensor
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, M.A. Prada, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Conference - IEEE Nordic Circuits and Systems Conference NORCAS 2017
This work presents the digital design of a trusted virtual sensor. The virtual sensor implements a piecewise-affine (PWA)-based model to estimate the sensed variable. The measurement is authenticated with the keyed-hash message authentication code (HMAC) standard. To ensure the integrity of the sensor, the static random access memory (SRAM) required by the sensor is also used as physical unclonable function (PUF). Implementation results of the design in a 90-nm CMOS technology show that the security blocks occupy 5.1% of the area occupied by the required PWA blocks and consume 15.4% of the power consumed by the required PWA blocks. The sensor is able to provide trusted outputs in 106.3 microseconds when working at 100 MHz.

Application specific integrated circuit solution for multi-input multi-output piecewise-affine functions
P. Brox, M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, E. Tena-Sánchez, I. Baturone and A.J. Acosta
Journal Paper - International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 4-20, 2015
JOHN WILEY & SONS    DOI: 10.1002/cta.2058    ISSN: 0098-9886    » doi
This paper presents a fully digital architecture and its application specific integrated circuit implementation for computing multi-input multi-output (MIMO) piecewise-affine (PWA) functions. The work considers both PWA functions defined over regular hyperrectangular and simplicial partitions of the input domains and also lattice PWA representations. The proposed architecture is able to implement PWA functions following different realization strategies, using a common structure with a minimized number of blocks, thus reducing power consumption and hardware resources. Experimental results obtained with application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) integrated in a 90-nm complementary metal-oxide semiconductor standard technology are provided. The proposed architecture is compared with other digital architectures in the state of the art habitually used to implement model predictive control applications. The proposal is superior in power consumption (saving up to 86%) and economy of hardware resources (saving up to 40% in comparison with a mere replication of the three representations) to other proposals described in literature, being ready to be used in applications where high-performance and minimum unitary cost are required.

Dedicated Hardware IP Module for Fingerprint Recognition
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, R. Arjona, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Conference - International Symposium on Consumer Electronics ISCE 2015
This work presents a dedicated hardware IP module for fingerprints recognition based on a feature, named QFingerMap, which is very suitable for VLSI design. FPGA implementation results of the IP module are given. A demonstrator has been developed to evaluate the IP module behavior in a real scenario.

Programmable ASICs for Model Predictive Control
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, P. Brox, E. Tena, A.J. Acosta and I. Baturone
Conference - IEEE International Conference on Industrial Technology ICIT 2015
Two configurable and programmable ASICs that implement piecewise-affine (PWA) functions have been designed in TSMC 90-nm technology in response to industry demands for embedded, fast response time, and low power solutions for Model Predictive Control (MPC). An automated model-based design flow can extract the parameters necessary for the configuration and the programming of both ASICs. Two application examples in the automotive field illustrate the design flow and the behavior of the ASICs.

Digital VLSI Implementation of Piecewise-Affine Controllers Based on Lattice Approach
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, P. Brox, P. and I. Baturone
Journal Paper - IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp 842-854, 2015
IEEE    DOI: 10.1109/TCST.2014.2345094    ISSN: 1063-6536    » doi
This paper presents a small, fast, low-power consumption solution for piecewise-affine (PWA) controllers. To achieve this goal, a digital architecture for very-large-scale integration (VLSI) circuits is proposed. The implementation is based on the simplest lattice form, which eliminates the point location problem of other PWA representations and is able to provide continuous PWA controllers defined over generic partitions of the input domain. The architecture is parameterized in terms of number of inputs, outputs, signal resolution, and features of the controller to be generated. The design flows for field-programmable gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits are detailed. Several application examples of explicit model predictive controllers (such as an adaptive cruise control and the control of a buck-boost dc-dc converter) are included to illustrate the performance of the VLSI solution obtained with the proposed lattice-based architecture.

Dedicated Hardware IP Module for Extracting Singular Points from Fingerprints
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, R. Arjona, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Conference - IEEE International Conference on Electronics Circuits and Systems ICECS 2014
In this paper a new digital dedicated hardware IP module for extracting singular points from fingerprints is presented (in particular convex cores). This module comprises four main blocks that implement an image directional extraction, a smoothing process, singular point detection and finally, a post processing to obtain the exact location of the singular point. A Verilog HDL description has been developed for this solution. The description has been synthesized and implemented in FPGAs from Xilinx.

A programmable and configurable ASIC to generate piecewise-affine functions defined over general partitions
P. Brox, R. Castro-Ramirez, M.C. Martinez-Rodriguez, E. Tena, C.J. Jimenez, I. Baturone and A.J. Acosta
Journal Paper - IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, vol. 60, no. 12, pp 3182-3194, 2013
IEEE    DOI: 10.1109/TCSI.2013.2265962    ISSN: 1549-8328    » doi
This paper presents a programmable and configurable architecture and its inclusion in an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) to generate Piecewise-Affine (PWA) functions. A Generic PWA form (PWAG) has been selected for integration, because of its suitability to implement any PWA function without resorting to approximation. The design of the ASIC in a 90 nm TSMC technology, its integration, test and characterization through different examples are detailed in the paper. Furthermore, the ASIC verification using an ASIC-in-the-loop methodology for embedded control applications is presented. To assess the characteristics of this verification, the double-integrator, a usual control application example has been considered. Experimental results validate the proposed architecture and the ASIC implementation.

Reducing bit flipping problems in SRAM physical unclonable functions for chip identification
S. Eiroa, J. Castro, M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, E. Tena, P. Brox and I. Baturone
Conference - IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits, and Systems ICECS 2012
Physical Unclonable functions (PUFs) have appeared as a promising solution to provide security in hardware. SRAM PUFs offer the advantage, over other PUF constructions, of reusing resources (memories) that already exist in many designs. However, their intrinsic noisy nature produces the so called bit flipping effect, which is a problem in circuit identification and secret key generation. The approaches reported to reduce this effect usually resort to the use of pre- and post-processing steps (such as Fuzzy Extractor structures combined with Error Correcting Codes), which increase the complexity of the system. This paper proposes a pre-processing step that reduces bit flipping problems without increasing the hardware complexity. The proposal has been verified experimentally with 90-nm SRAMs included in digital application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

ASIC-in-the-loop methodology for verification of piecewise affine controllers
M. Martínez-Rodríguez, P. Brox, J. Castro, E. Tena, A. Acosta and I. Baturone
Conference - IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits, and Systems ICECS 2012
This paper exposes a hardware-in-the-loop metho- dology to verify the performance of a programmable and confi- gurable application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that imple- ments piecewise affine (PWA) controllers. The ASIC inserted into a printed circuit board (PCB) is connected to a logic analyzer that generates the input patterns to the ASIC (in particular, the values to program the memories, configuration parameters, and values of the input signals). The output provided by the ASIC is also taken by the logic analyzer. A Matlab program controls the logic analyzer to verify the PWA controller implemented by the ASIC in open-loop as well as in closed-loop configurations.

Design methodology for FPGA implementation of lattice piecewise-affine functions
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, I. Baturone and P. Brox
Conference - International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology FPT 2011
This paper describes a design methodology to implement on FPGAs piecewise-affine (PWA) functions based on representation methods from the lattice theory. An off-line automatic processing starts at the algorithmic formulation of the problem, obtains the parameters required by a parameterized digital architecture, and ends with the bitstream to program an FPGA. The methodology has been proven to implement PWA functions on Xilinx FPGAs. The results are compared with other approaches for FPGA implementations of PWA functions. © 2011 IEEE.

Circuit implementation of piecewise-affine functions based on lattice representation
M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, I. Baturone and P. Brox
Conference - European Conference on Circuit Theory and Design ECCTD 2011
This paper introduces a digital architecture to implement piecewise-affine (PWA) functions based on representation methods from the lattice theory. Given an explicit and continuous PWA function, the parameters required to implement the lattice approach can be obtained by an off-line preprocessing that can be automated. Other advantages of the proposal are that it implements a continuous PWA function with potentially no errors and the minimum number of parameters to store. This has been proven experimentally by implementing the proposal in a Xilinx FPGA and comparing its performance with other implementations, all of them addressing a typical non linear control problem. © 2011 IEEE.

Digital implementation of hierarchical piecewise-affine controllers
I. Baturone, M.C. Martínez-Rodríguez, P. Brox, A. Gersnoviez and S. Sánchez-Solano
Conference - IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics ISIE 2011
This paper proposes the design of hierarchical piecewise-affine (PWA) controllers to alleviate the processing time or prohibitive memory requirements of large controller structures. The constituent PWA modules of the hierarchical solution have fewer inputs and/or coarser partitions, so that they can reduce considerably the hardware resources required and/or the time response of the controller. A design methodology aided by CAD tools is employed to design the parameters of the controller, implement its architecture in an FPGA, and verify the static and dynamic behavior of the digital implementation by applying hardware-in-the-loop testing. © 2011 IEEE.

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