In the book: Advanced DPA Theory and Practice: Towards the Security Limits of Secure Embedded Circuits 1, it is explained that the countermeasures against Side-channel Cryptanalysis could be ensured through 3 levels; Software Level, Hardware Level and the Logic Style Level.

The question is, why the Logic Style, which is defined in 2 as

"the way how logic gate is constructed"

not considered as a part from the Hardware level?

I can't clearly spot the difference, is there some fundamentals that I might be confusing?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your second reference is to a paper about low-power design, and I don't think you can assume that the term "logic style" means the same thing in both contexts. Beyond that, if you send me a copy of the book I'll try to dig into it. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2019 at 12:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Be careful of erroneous terminology... more and more, especially in US DoD market, there are folks that refer to FPGA designs as "Firmware", and "HW" as the board-level components (including the FPGA, so, go figure). Firmware is embedded Software that executes on HW. An FPGA "programming file" is a bit-mask that configures the FPGA Hardware (which is simply a "Standard-Cell RAM-Based ASIC"). This could be the delineation between "Hardware" and "Logic Style" in the above book. \$\endgroup\$
    – CapnJJ
    Feb 14, 2019 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ It appears to me that in this case, "Logic Style" is not read as an engineering specific term, but that they are using the literal meaning of the English words, so in this case(reiterated by their definition), style simply means the way that something is done. I would speculate that they are referring to ways of obfuscating the purpose of a circuit by using unconventional logic arrangements(there are many ways to implement a given logic equation), and the terminology would appear to include also ways of hiding logic like using an unmarked ASIC/FPGA rather than discrete gates for example. \$\endgroup\$
    – K H
    Feb 15, 2019 at 21:45


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