Anti-tamper Active Shield

ON Semiconductor offers an anti-tamper active shield architecture as one of the first steps to tackle information security, IP protection and anti-counterfeiting in ASIC design. ASIC tampering is a calculated attempt to alter the operation of a product or uncover proprietary information in the design or operation of an ASIC. Critical data of any kind can be a target. Counterfeiting activities like reverse engineering, stealing or copying intellectual property, and repurposing returned merchandise threaten suppliers and customers daily.

ON Semiconductor’s anti-tamper active shield satisfies three components of anti-tampering protection: resistance, detection and evidence.




ON Semiconductor’s anti-tamper active shield combats two specific ASIC tampering attack methods.

Tamper Attack Method Description
Microprobe An attacker will be unable to easily microprobe the IC surface to directly observe, manipulate or interfere with the internal workings of the IC.
Reverse Engineering Any attempt to reverse engineer an ASIC or portions of an ASIC are complicated due to the presence of the active shield.

ON Semiconductor’s anti-tamper active shield is a random plane filled curve that is built in top level metal over specific IP or sensitive areas of the ASIC. Multiple lines can be employed and each functions as a powered and active screen rather than blockage simply used to hide sensitive areas. The need for anti-tamper strategies is associated with aerospace and defense applications, but the exponential rise of personal electronics use is driving all market segments to explore anti-tampering methods and offerings.