NetViz: A Tool for Netlist Security Visualization

James Geist1, Travis Meade1, Shaojie Zhang1, Yier Jin2
1University of Central Florida, 2University of Florida


Algorithmic analysis of gate level netlists has become an important technique in hardware security. Algorithms can help detect malicious hardware injected into a design, or lock a design against reverse engineering or malicious modification. Many analysis tools have come from the research and commercial communities; however, it is currently the job of the analyst to make these tools work together and interpret the results. Typically tools are text-based, and require error-prone editing of input files in different formats. The analyst must interpret textual results, and sometimes transform them into other formats for use in third party visualization tools. These tasks are repetitive overhead that take time and effort that could better be spent on investigating the netlist. In this paper we introduce NetViz, a visual hardware security environment. NetViz is a meta-tool which combines other analysis tools, automates the task of transferring data between them, and helps with interpretation of results by providing graphical representations of the data.