Performance Degradation Monitoring for Analog Circuits Using Lightweight Built-in Components

Bora Bilgic, Sule Ozev

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

2 Scopus citations


The need for digital calibration due to large variations in fine-geometry processes as well as the need for performance locking mechanisms to prevent IC piracy have resulted in the prevalent use of digital assistance for analog circuits. The same issues also make analog circuits vulnerable to infield performance degradation either due to wearout or due to potential attacks by adversaries. Unfortunately, most of the vulnerabilities are activated after the device is deployed. In order to ensure secure and reliable operation of the system, abrupt performance fluctuations in analog circuits need to be detected in the field. The detection method needs to be robust with respect to process variations, low-cost, and avoid providing information that attackers can use to compromise the circuit. In this paper, we propose a simple method for detecting performance degradation of digitally-assisted analog circuits using simple circuit elements, such as level shifters and inverters. The proposed method identifies an easy-to-monitor invariant in the circuit that is correlated to performance variables but this correlation is not known to attackers. The proposed method is demonstrated on a low drop out voltage regulator (LDO). Experimental results confirm that the proposed method can detect deviations in performance due to the alteration of calibration or performance locking bits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE 40th VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2022
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781665410601
StatePublished - 2022
Event40th IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2022Apr 27 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE VLSI Test Symposium


Conference40th IEEE VLSI Test Symposium, VTS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • analog
  • degradation
  • detection
  • locking
  • low drop out
  • monitoring
  • performance
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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