Emerging byte-addressable Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) technology, although promising superior memory density and ultra-low energy consumption, poses unique challenges to achieving persistent data privacy and computing security, both of which are critically important to the embedded and IoT applications. Specifically, to successfully restore NVMs to their working states after unexpected system crashes or power failure, maintaining and recovering all the necessary security-related metadata can severely increase memory traffic, degrade runtime performance, exacerbate write endurance problem, and demand costly hardware changes to off-the-shelf processors. In this thesis, we summarize and expand upon two of our innovative works, ARES and HERMES, to design a new FPGA-assisted processor-transparent security mechanism aiming at efficiently and effectively achieving all three aspects of a security triad—confidentiality, integrity, and recoverability—in modern embedded computing. Given the growing prominence of CPU-FPGA heterogeneous computing architectures, ARES leverages FPGA's hardware reconfigurability to offload performance-critical and security-related functions to the programmable hardware without microprocessors' involvement. In particular, recognizing that the traditional Merkle tree caching scheme cannot fully exploit FPGA's parallelism due to its sequential and recursive function calls, ARES proposed a new Merkle tree cache architecture and a novel Merkle tree scheme which flattened and reorganized the computation in the traditional Merkle tree verification and update processes to fully exploit the parallel cache ports and to fully pipeline time-consuming hashing operations. To further optimize the throughput of BMT operations, HERMES proposed an optimally efficient dataflow architecture by processing multiple outstanding counter requests simultaneously. Specifically, HERMES explored and addressed three technical challenges when exploiting task-level parallelism of BMT and proposed a speculative execution approach with both low latency and high throughput.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Zou, Yu, "FPGA-Augmented Secure Crash-Consistent Non-Volatile Memory" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 792.