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The University of Southampton

ELEC6237 Secure Hardware and Embedded Devices

Module Overview

This course covers security and trust of hardware and embedded devices, with a particular focus on the emerging security challenges facing the internet of things technology. It includes the following topics: vulnerabilities in current digital system design flow, physical and invasive attacks, side-channel attacks, hardware Trojan detection, detection and prevention of counterfeit electronics, cryptographic primitives design such as physically unclonable functions, random number generators, principles of trusted computing, industry standards solutions for securing IoT devices such as ARM Platform Security Architecture.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • State of the art technologies in secure hardware and embedded devices
  • The security threats facing hardware and computing devices
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Integrate security as a design metric i.e. design secure-by-construction approach
  • Describe the vulnerabilities in current Digital System Design Flow
  • Explain the Principles Of Trusted Computing
  • Explain the IoT Security Challenges and Defense Mechanisms
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use industry standard tools to design secure systems


1. Introduction 2. Vulnerabilities in Current Digital System Design Flow 3. Hardware Trojans 4. Counterfeit Electronics: Detection and Prevention 5. Principles of Trusted Computing 6. Cryptographic Primitives 7. Random Number Generators 8. Physically Unclonable Functions 9. IoT Security: Challenges and Defense Mechanisms

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught using a combination of lectures and labs. Laboratory sessions are scheduled in the labs on level 2 of the Zepler building Length of each session: 3 hours Number of sessions completed by each student: 6 Max number of students per session: unlimited Demonstrator:student ratio: 1:8 Preferred teaching weeks: 3 to 9

Wider reading or practice33
Completion of assessment task51
Practical classes and workshops18
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Follow-up work12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Basel Halak. Physically Unclonable Functions: From Basic Design Principles to Advanced Hardware Security Applications. 

Will Arthur & David Challener. A Practical Guide to TPM 2.0: Using the New Trusted Platform Module in the New Age of Security. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 20%
Final Assessment  80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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