We have designed and developed a purpose-built device (SCSAT02, followed by a more powerful SCSAT04) for side-channel attacks on microcontrollers (the hardware implementation was delivered by the DFC Company. The primary focus of SCSAT04 was an analysis of smart-card robustness against side-channel attacks like power analysis, (simple and differential), or fault/glitch attacks (via manipulation of power supply, external clock signal, data bus voltage).

SCSAT02 connected for experiments.Top view of SCSAT04 with smart-card daughter boards.

The device has been used for analysis of Java Card security, especially with respect to side channel attacks on Java applets - some measurement traces and results can be found in a paper from Masaryk University in Brno.

The SCSAT04 system, targeted at high volume data analysis, is built around ETRAX100LX processor and Xilinx II Pro programmable gate array with builtin PowerPC 405 core.

  • ETRAX 100LX MCM processor
  • ethernet 100Mbit, USB, RS232
  • 32MB SDRAM, 12MB flash
  • Virtex II Pro XC2VP7@5-7 gate array
  • OS Linux for PPC in FPGA available
  • partial reconfiguration and debugging readback over JTAG bus supported
  • DDR 64MB@100 / 133MHz - 16bit connected to FPGA
  • FW/HW data analysis acceleration inside FPGA
  • 2 x RS232 port for FPGA
  • DataFlash Card
  • upto 200MHz/12bit sample rate
  • 2 * 100MHz waveform generators


We are able to provide the following services:

  • basic analysis of power profile for various commands implemented by a smart card;
  • comparison of different batches of the same type of a smart-card for protection against power analysis;
  • power analysis of your applets on selected smart-cards; and
  • other services according to a specific agreement.

We deliver a report summarising results of a required analysis and detailed description of the procedure and all findings.

We are currently in the process of re-designing SCSAT04 with the aim of offering a solution for quick in-house tests of smart-cards. We would love to hear from you if you are interested in such a product.