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Non-deterministic Multi-threading

Peter Leadbitter, Dan Page, Nigel Smart, Non-deterministic Multi-threading. IEEE Transactions on Computers, 56(7), pp. 992–998. June 2007. No electronic version available.


The physical security of application specific embedded processors, such as those found in smart-cards, has becoming increasingly important since they are used more and more as conduits for sensitive financial and identity information. The advent of side-channel attacks has meant that a combination of algorithmic, software and hardware defence is required. In this paper we re-examine the issue of non-deterministic processors, simplifying previous designs using a multi-threaded architecture. From this simplification we are able to construct a formally reasoned assessment of the security level offered by such a device.

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