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The University of Southampton

ELEC6237 Secure Hardware Design

Module Overview

The first part of the module is intended to provide students with the experience of applying industry standard software tools to complete IC design, from conceptual design through to IC layout, using and Cadence tools. The second part is intended to cover security and trust from hardware prespectives. We willl study the vulnerabilities of modern Systems on Chip design flow and how these can become legitimate security threats such as hardware trojans and physical attacks.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To give a broad grounding in the principles and practice of System on Chip Design, with emphasis on secure hardware development.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • State of the art in hardware security method and devices
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the System on Chip design flow
  • Describe the main security threats from hardware design perspectives
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use industry standard Synosys and Cadence tools to implement a design from concept to silicon


1. System On Chip Design Flow 2. Circuit Design Techniques 3. Layout 4. Digital Simulation 5. RTL Synthesis 6. Automatic Place and Route 7. Fabrication 8. SoC Security threats 9. Hardware trojans 10. IP protections methods 11. Physical Unclonable Functions

Learning and Teaching

Practical classes and workshops24
Completion of assessment task51
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Wider reading or practice27
Follow-up work12
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

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: 9 Max number of students per session: unlimited Demonstrator:student ratio: 1:8 Preferred teaching weeks: 2 to 11


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 50%
Closed book Examination  (2 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: ELEC3221 or COMP6238

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