Self-correcting STTRAM under magnetic field attacks

Jae Won Jang, Jongsun Park, Swaroop Ghosh, Swarup Bhunia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Citations (Scopus)


Spin-Transfer Torque Random Access Memory (STTRAM) is a possible candidate for universal memory due to its high-speed, low-power, non-volatility, and low cost. Although attractive, STTRAM is susceptible to contactless tampering through malicious exposure to magnetic field with the intention to steal or modify the bitcell content. In this paper, for the first time to our knowledge, we analyze the impact of magnetic attacks on STTRAM using micro-magnetic simulations. Next, we propose a novel array-based sensor to detect the polarity and magnitude of such attacks and then propose two design techniques to mitigate the attack, namely, array sleep with encoding and variable strength Error Correction Code (ECC). Simulation results indicate that the proposed sensor can reliably detect an attack and provide sufficient compensation window (few ns to ∼100us) to enable proactive protection measures. Finally, we shows that variable-strength ECC can adapt correction capability to tolerate failures with various strength of an attack.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 52nd ACM/EDAC/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781450335201
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 24
Event52nd ACM/EDAC/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2015 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 2015 Jun 82015 Jun 12

Publication series

NameProceedings - Design Automation Conference
ISSN (Print)0738-100X


Other52nd ACM/EDAC/IEEE Design Automation Conference, DAC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 ACM.


  • Contactless tampering
  • Magnetic field attack
  • On-chIP tamper mitigation
  • Replica
  • Variable ECC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Modelling and Simulation


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