Preventing damage to CW1200 when voltage glitching


#1

This tutorial mentions that it’s possible to damage the ChipWhisperer-Lite when voltage glitching.

Does this apply to the CW1200 ChipWhisperer Pro as well?
Under what circumstances can I damage the ChipWhisperer?
What steps can be taken to prevent damage? (e.g. it says “you don’t want to short the MOSFETs for too long”. How long it that, exactly?)

Another tutorial recommends setting “Glitch Module > Output Mode” to “Glitch Only” to prevent damage.
However, it’s unclear whether this refers to damage to the ChipWhisperer or the target board.

Thanks in advance.

Regards


#2

Hello,

It’s a tough to say exactly how long the MOSFET will survive (I’ve had it fully on for >10 seconds with no ill effects, but that’s a rather extreme example), but it will work fine for any reasonable glitch width. You won’t get anywhere near the peak current the MOSFET can supply, meaning you’ll only really run into issues with temperature, which you can manually check if you’re worried about burning it out.

Since voltage glitching takes a device outside of its maximum operating conditions, it’s technically possible to damage the target, but in reality if anything’s damaged by the glitch, it’ll be the ChipWhisperer’s MOSFET.

Alex