PhD Defense: "Novel Methods of Augmenting High Performance Processors with Security Hardware"

Jonathan Kaveh Valamehr

May 7th (Tuesday), 12:00pm
Harold Frank Hall (HFH), Room 4164

When developing a microprocessor, designers are asked to balance a growing number of tradeoffs for a system’s intended set of applications. These design decisions, such as sharing cache space between cores, are often statically defined and limit the usability of the processor for other applications. Since processor manufacturers are economically influenced, most resulting designs show a strong affinity towards optimizing common design goals such as high performance and low power usage. Unfortunately, other design aspects can be overlooked or ignored entirely, which is problematic as we enter a new era of computing where processors play an important role in critical systems and security becomes a paramount concern. My work focuses on discovering and analyzing methods of extending an existing design to cater to applications past the one it was originally developed for, with a concentration on security. We show that the functionality of a processor can be extended after making minimal changes to its design. We introduce several novel methods of adding security hardware to processors through the use of 3-D Integration, resulting in processors that are secure without sacrificing performance. We also show how these same methods can be used to make a processor extensible in its computational abilities by augmenting the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA).

About Jonathan Kaveh Valamehr:

Jonathan Kaveh Valamehr is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests include using hardware and emerging technologies in Computer Architecture to develop secure microprocessors. His latest work has been has been selected by IEEE Micro as a “Top Pick” in Computer Architecture. Valamehr has an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Hosted by: Professor Tim Sherwood, Archlab