Keynote – Exploiting Switching of Transistors in Digital Electronics for RFID Tag Design

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Prof. Alenka Zajic
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Tech

This talk will present a novel RFID tag implementation that leverages backscattering channel created by switching transistors in digital electronic circuits. This RFID tag does not require any passive components including antennas.

In this talk, we will first briefly review existing analog-signal side-channels, which are a consequence of fast current-flow changes inside electronic circuits. Then, we will introduce a new class of side-channels that is a consequence of impedance changes in switching circuits, and we will refer to it as an impedance-based side-channel. Finally, we will demonstrate how this new type of side-channel can be leveraged for RFID tags.  We will show how we can design programmable RFID tag that can operate at carrier frequencies from 1 to 20 GHz, reach distances of several meters, and can be used for several different applications such as 36 bits static ID, multi-bit (4, 8, 12 bits) communications, and high data-rate communications.

Prof. Alenka Zajić is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia, in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2008. Before joining Georgia Tech, Dr. Zajic was a post-doctoral fellow in the Naval Research Laboratory and visiting faculty in the School of Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Zajic’s research interests span areas of electromagnetics, wireless communications, and computer engineering. Her research is focused on studying propagation and enabling communication in challenging environments such as vehicle-to-vehicle wireless radio communications, underwater acoustic communications, and inside a processor chip.

Dr. Zajic was the recipient of the 2017 NSF CAREER Award, 2012 Neal Shepherd Memorial Best Propagation Paper Award, the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Communications and Electronics 2014, the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Telecommunications 2008, the Best Student Paper Award at the 2007 Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, and the Dan Noble Fellowship in 2004, which was awarded by Motorola Inc. and the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society for quality impact in the area of vehicular technology.