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Photoemission Analysis

Photoemission analysis

Photoemission is a technique to explore internal (non visible) information processed or stored in a chip. When in use, gates are triggered and generate an activity. As a result, a local area is heated. Photoemission leverages infrared cameras to make back-side imaging and captures the heating information while the chip is processing. Doing so, it is possible to localize the gates for specific operations, such as cryptography, or even deduce some secret data processed by the chip.
Contact us for a Photoemission project on your device
Photoemission analysis bench by eShard

What is required to make photoemission analysis?

Photoemission analysis is a complex technique requiring high quality of back-side imaging in the infrared wavelength. The image quality can only be achieved by combining a well-chosen camera with an optimized optical system.

Besides the experimental setup, solid know-how in photoemission analysis is needed. Many techniques must be mastered, such as testing procedures, camera tuning, image processing, relevant information extraction, etc.

Photoemission bench

ALPhANOV and eShard developed a ready-to-use photoemission solution for chip security analysis. ALPhANOV optical solution integrates:

  • An optical system optimized to back-side imaging
  • An infrared camera chosen for low-noise and high-quality imaging
  • A photon detector system to perform analyses in space and time

It can be mounted like a stand alone system or like an extension of an existing bench, such as an LMS station.

Software solution for photoemission analysis

A comprehensive expertise module has been developed to run photoemission analysis of the esDynamic data sciences platform.

It includes:

  • All software to drive each individual equipment of the photoemission bench via APIs and widgets
  • Integrated photoemission techniques to automate scanning, image building and analysis
  • A set of know-how notebooks to quickly get up to speed in photoemission security analysis

The photoemission analysis module is regularly updated in line with eShard R&D developments.

Learn more about esDynamic
Photoemission bench eShard Alphanov

Our specialized lab

Our lab hosts a state-of-the-art solution to implement photoemission analysis: the photoemission bench is provided by ALPhANOV, as part of our close partnership in their secure premises, and the software platform is from eShard.

Our expert team can run photoemission analysis on devices provided by our customers based on their requirements. This can be to better understand the photoemission technique or to figure out what type of information can leak from a device with a photoemission analysis technique.

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Recent projects performed in our lab

  • Photoemission analysis on a multi-core high speed (1+ GHz) ARMv8 SoC (System on Chip)

Our clients



"Purchase and installation went really great. Support responds very fast and is helpful in all questions. Offers also remote sessions for troubleshooting and for practice. Before the purchase we were offered a 30 day trial version (free of charge)."




Training tools

Ecosystems move fast, so do the cybersecurity challenges. Your team must remain up-to-date and master the last security threats because your business and your customers are at stake.
Side-Channel Analysis Principles
Coach: Guillaume Bethouart
In this module, you will get the principles of side-channel analysis and the background knowledge needed to perform your first analysis. You will also practice on basic examples then on real use cases to become familiar with these techniques.
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Second-order scatter analysis
Coach: Guillaume Bethouart
In this module, you will learn the principles of scatter second order side-channel analysis. This technique threatens first order protected implementations including masking, jitter and shuffling combined together. You will be guided to implement steps of the attack on a masked AES implementation. You will practice second-order scatter attacks on different set of traces for different second order attack paths until your recover the keys.
Customization and good developement practices in esDynamic
Coach: Guillaume Bethouart
In this module, you will learn how to fully customize the [esDynamic]( framework, including how to import your own librairies, define your own attack objects and targets and how to build your own python modules and environments. You will also learn about good practices when developping your own content in the esDynamic platform.

Blog Articles

Chip Security

ALPhANOV & eShard's IC Security Testing Lab

2 min read
Edit by Lionel Riviere • Apr 5, 2022
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