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ASCRIPT - Safety Analysis of Integrated Circuits by PhotoThermal Effect

Developing new methods of evaluation and safety improvements for integrated circuits concerning an imaging technique that uses a laser as a heat source.

Project subject:

Since the invention of the smart card in 1974, France, and Europe more generally, has maintained an assured technological lead thanks to a high level of innovation around secure integrated circuits and their applications. These components are today essential for payment, electronic identity documents, smartphones and, in general, for any system of public or private use, which can be misappropriated for fraudulent purposes.

Today, the evolution of secure products and services is accelerating around the expansion of social networks and the revolution of connected objects. The constant progression of test and integration technologies, the dissemination of attack tools increasingly accessible to nefarious organizations, or the addition of connectivity in new so-called "sensitive" systems, obliges stakeholders to improve the techniques used for integrated circuit design and safety.

The work proposed in the ASCRIPT project, funded by the Defense Innovation Agency, relates to the development of new assessment and security improvement procedures concerning an imaging technique that uses a laser as heat source. The goal is to adapt a pre-existing technique in failure analysis to the challenges of security analysis and reverse engineering of secure circuits. A demonstrator will be designed and will show the technological barriers crossed on recent generation secure circuits.

The partners, ALPhANOV and SERMA SAFETY & SECURITY, will have 3 years to achieve these objectives, as part of the RAPID system (Support Regime for Dual Innovation).

ALPhANOV's role:

ALPhANOV, project coordinator, will be responsible for engaging in the development of a new photothermal test system.

The technology center will be responsible for 3 units:

  • Lot 1: State of the art / Scientific observation / Specification Consolidation
  • Lot 2: Fulfillment of the experimental R&D setup
  • Lot 4: Fulfillment of the final demonstrator


Funding: AID - Defense Innovation Agency