Center for Hardware and Embedded Systems Security and Trust (CHEST)

CHEST will coordinate university-based research with the needs of industry and government partners to advance knowledge of security, assurance, and trust for electronic hardware and embedded systems.

CHEST is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program.

CHEST is a consortium of the following six universities: Northeastern University, the University of California Davis, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Virginia.

CHEST coordinates university-based research with needs of industry and government partners to advance knowledge of security, assurance, and trust for electronic hardware and embedded systems. Interests of CHEST include identification, detection, monitoring, mitigation, and elimination of vulnerabilities that affect hardware and embedded systems. The CHEST Center addresses a range of attack vectors across design, operation, manufacturing, supply chains, and integration of the hardware, software, and firmware to a variety of systems. The Center is inventing and disseminating technologies, practices, and guidelines to stakeholders and educating the next generation of experts.

The NSF CHEST center addresses security, assurance, and trust across several levels: Large-scale systems, embedded systems, design and operations, requirements, standards, manufacturing, supply chains, and integrated circuits and boards. Among the universities, Northeastern University leads CHEST efforts for designing, mitigating, and protecting hardware and embedded systems against malicious attacks at the levels of architecture and embedded devices. Topics include: (i) clean-slate secure architecture to balance performance and information security on CPUs and accelerators; (ii) lightweight hardware primitives for security at the edge of Internet-of-Things; and (iii) hardening techniques for deep learning systems on edge computing under adversarial attacks.

Security, assurance, and trust of integrated cyber-physical systems enable meeting fundamental human needs, along with supporting broader social, environmental, and economic progress of the nation. The ability of systems to absorb disruptive shocks and recover with minimal loss is key to protecting human lives and property. The NSF CHEST Center influences the practices of industry, government, and the military in design, protection, and resilience to vulnerabilities associated with hardware and embedded systems. Improving assurance and trust contributes to reducing the frequencies and severities of adverse events with attention to system missions, performance, schedule, and cost.

For more information contact:

Yunsi Fei
Professor,  Electrical and Computer Engineering
Northeastern Lead,  CHEST & NI CHEST

Hardware-oriented security, computer architecture, embedded systems, design automation, IoT and cyber physical systems