ENSTA Bretagne ; journée "le numérique en tous genres"

Hardware ARchitectures and CAD tools (ARCAD) team

ARCAD is a multidisciplinary team in electrical and computer engineering.

The ARCAD team’s purpose: application objectives 

  • high performances
  • low energy consumption
  • high security (resistance to attacks) and reliability (resistance to faults)
  • low cost (small area and flexibility by reconfiguration)

Research areas concerning hardware architectures

  • analog/digital functions, computation units, IP blocks
  • accelerators, special purpose processors
  • reconfigurable architectures: CGRA, special purpose, virtual
  • parallel architectures
  • secure architectures, protection against logical and physical attacks

Research areas concerning software support and tools

  • special purpose CAD tools: synthesis, P&R, operator/circuit generation
  • high-level synthesis
  • low-level libraries for our architectures

Multidisciplinary expertise in digital, electronic and computer systems

  • Embedded systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Embedded software
  • Hardware accelerators/FPGAs
  • Co-design
  • Processors
  • Compilation 
  • Algorithm-architecture matching
  • Prototyping 
Examples of projects
Protection against intellectual property theft in electronics: code obfuscation techniques
  • Research program name: "Protection against intellectual property theft in electronics: code obfuscation techniques for HLS synthesis chains in SaaS mode"
  • began at the end of 2017
  • financed by the Brittany region
  • led by Jean-Christophe Le Lann (research professor)
  • partner: Politechnico di Milano (public scientific-technological university which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers, based in Milan)
  • thesis by Hannah Boenning Badier, defended in 2021

The PhD student and team explored various promising avenues in terms of obfuscation (security through obscurity), which involves incorporating a discreet "tattoo" into a computer code using artificial intelligence techniques.

Trojan horses were also designed as part of this project in a bid to more clearly understand the implications of such hardware threats and to consider countermeasures at the time of design.

Jean-Christophe Le Lann: "This original project is set to continue with support from the Cyber Center of Excellence. It is of interest to the French Defense, Procurement and Technology Agency (DGA) and will be the subject of a second thesis beginning in 2022."


Loïc Lagadec
Associate professor
IT Departement
Lab-STICC laboratory / SHARP Department / ARCAD Team