2022-04649 - PhD Position F/M Ensuring confidentiality in modern Out-of-Order cores
Le descriptif de l’offre ci-dessous est en Anglais

Type de contrat : CDD

Niveau de diplôme exigé : Bac + 5 ou équivalent

Fonction : Doctorant

A propos du centre ou de la direction fonctionnelle

The Inria Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique Centre is one of Inria's eight centres and has more than thirty research teams. The Inria Center is a major and recognized player in the field of digital sciences. It is at the heart of a rich R&D and innovation ecosystem: highly innovative PMEs, large industrial groups, competitiveness clusters, research and higher education players, laboratories of excellence, technological research institute, etc.

Contexte et atouts du poste

This thesis will take place at Inria in Rennes, France, in the TARAN team and in collaboration with the LHS (high security laboratory). Inria Rennes has a vibrant community of 600 people, including researchers, engineers, ...

This work is funded by the Arsene PEPR project on hardware security.

Mission confiée

By focusing on performances or energy consumption, modern cores lack the possibility to enforce strong security guarantees have the numerous attacks such as Spectre and Meltdown have shown. Side channels have been demonstrated to be possible on such cores, by exploiting timings (cache timing attacks), power consumption or electromagnetic radiation. Out-of-order cores are particularly vulnerable since speculative execution can be tricked into leaking data.

Principales activités

The candidate is expected to propose technical solutions to enforce confidentiality in an out-of-order core, to implement the solutions and evaluate them.

In more details, the work must

  • prevent timing covert channels. A solution has been demonstrated on simpler in-order cores, but should be scaled to a modern out-of-order core.
  • prevent Spectre-like attacks by forbidding or limiting speculation in the relevant situations.
  • propose a RISC-V extension to guarantee constant time execution of instruction sequences.



Required skills:

  • Hardware design (VHDL, Verilog, SystemC, Chisel, ...).
  • Deep knowledge of modern computer architectures.
  • Software programing for embedded systems (C, C++, Rust, ...).
  • Bare metal programing: cross-compilation, tuning linker scripts.
  • Can read, write and speak English.
  • Good team member: the core development will be a team effort.

Bonus skills:

  • Hardware security: side channels.
  • Git workflow, continuous integration, ...


  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs


monthly gross salary amounting to 1982 euros for the first and second years and 2085 euros for the third year