SiidTech Introduces New Silicon Fingerprinting Technology for CMOS ICs

April 05, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

A new technique for electronically tracking the "fingerprints" of CMOS ICs and sections of ICs has been introduced by SiidTech Inc. (Hillsboro, OR). SiidTech's Silicon Fingerprinting technology uses measurements of dopant profiles in CMOS transistors to identify each chip or individual circuit blocks in devices.

The technique makes use of MOSFET threshold voltages to generate unique identifications for each chip. A dedicated circuit is integrated into all the chips at once for batch identification embedding. The dedicated circuit includes a data generator and a comparator to digitize the threshold voltages. About 3,000 transistors are needed to generate a 128-bit identification.

"MOSFET threshold voltages have minute variations due to differences in the transistors used, and the number of atoms," stated Steve Sapiro, vice president of marketing with SiidTech. "The circuit with multiple MOSFETs is created on the chip, and the differences in threshold voltage are read as analog signals. Since each signal has a different value, the digitized data can be used as a randomized chip identification."

SiidTech's technology is being offered for licensing. It will work in any standard submicron CMOS process technology, according to Sapiro. Pricing for the technology starts at $100,000, depending on the number of IC products and unit volumes.