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Current Probe


Measuring the power consumption of embedded technology to perform side channel analysis adds specific challenges to the measurement setup. Power lines on embedded devices are generally noisier, signals travel at a higher speed and there is a lot of variety in form factors compared to smart cards. To perform side channel analysis on embedded devices, such as System-on-Chip devices and FPGA’s, our Inspector software and CurrentProbe provide a solution for tackling these challenges.

Key features

Wide bandwidth to measure signals from 1 MHz to 1 GHz.

Low impedance to minimise the influence on the TOE power circuit.

High sensitivity to measure weak TOE supply current fluctuation.

Electrical isolation for ease of use.

Electrical isolation for ease of use. High sensitivity to measure weak TOE supply current fluctuation. Low noise for a high quality measurement signal.

How to use Current Probe

  • The power supply chain of the embedded TOE must be opened. The location to open the supply chain should be chosen such that the capacitance C2 between the cut and the TOE is minimal – just sufficient for proper operation of the TOE. One of the probe inputs must be connected to the Vcc pin of the TOE and the other input to the power supply of the TOE or the stabilizing capacitor C1.
  • The probe output is connected to the amplifier which is powered by a 12V adapter. The output of the amplifier should be connected to the input of the oscilloscope. A trigger signal for the oscilloscope should be programmed on the TOE, derived from the current signal using the icWaves or provided from the PC.
  • Shielding offers you flexibility of connecting to target GND or leaving it open.
  • Acquire power traces in Inspector by controlling the TOE and oscilloscope from within Inspector via the supported interfaces and protocols. Inspector provides an IDE and API to make your own modules, allowing you to flexibly adapt to your testing environment and the TOE.

Inspector integration

Due to its flexibility and non-invasive nature, the EM Probe Station is often the first choice for side channel analysis on embedded technology. However, if the crypto processor is covered with cooling elements, shields and other processors, the Current Probe is more effective.

Technical specifications

  • Probe bandwidth 1 MHz – 1 GHz
  • Probe impedance 60 mΩ + 10 μH for f < 200 kHz
  • Probe sensitivity with and 25 mV/mA without amplifier (into 50 Ω impedance)
  • Signal output with 50 Ω impedance
  • Built-in Tektronix CT1 current probe
  • Frequency Range: 0.1 – 2500MHz
  • Gain @500MHz: 25dB
  • Noise Figure @500MHz: 2.4dB
  • DC Power: 12V
  • SMA Connector
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