Practicals & Theses

List of practicals and theses at the Embedded Computing Systems Group (E191/2)

Details for Implementation of Pointer Authentication on a 32-bit RISC-V CPU

Pointer Authentication (PA) is a method to strengthen the resilience of computer systems against attacks exploiting memory corruption. If an attacker is able to redirect pointers she might gain control about the execution flow eventually. Pointer Authentication is able to detect such modifications from unauthorized places in the code and thus thwart the malign consequences.

Industry has taken up this idea already from academia and is adding support to new implementations of existing microarchitectures (e.g., on ARMv8.3).


Your task in this project is to design and implement PA for an existing 32-bit open-source RISC-V core named RI5CY from the ETH Zürich and University of Bologna.


The practical project as described above is also an applicable topic for PR "Praktikum Technische Informatik" (6 ECTS, 535) or PR "Projektarbeit in Technischer Informatik" (6 ECTS, 938). Together with the required changes to the respective compiler (GCC) it might also be applicable for a diploma thesis (Diplomarbeit).

For any questions please contact Stefan Tauner.

Required Skills

Good knowledge about computer architecture (e.g., pipelining) and hardware design is mandatory. Experience with (System)Verilog, Xilinx Vivado, system programming (in C/C++) (in order of usefulness) are advantageous but no necessity.


Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Andreas STEININGER

Univ.Ass. Dipl.-Ing. Stefan TAUNER (main responsibility)


Praktikum, Diplomarbeit