ChipWhisperer-Husky Looks to Be the Alpha Tool for Single-Channel Power Analysis

NewAE's latest tool aids in side-channel attacks, glitching, and attacking asymmetric algorithms.

James Lewis
9 months agoSecurity

The Canadian-based security research company NewAE Technology is announcing their latest side-channel attack tool, the ChipWhisperer-Husky. This compact yet powerful box follows in the footsteps of previous successful ChipWhisperer products.

ChipWhisperer-Husky falls somewhere between the ChipWhisperer-Lite and ChipWhisperer-Pro. Husky's core feature set comes from the -Lite while adding a few available only on the -Pro line. Previously the -Lite used a Spartan-6 FPGA. The -Husky brings a newer Artix A35 7-Series chip to the table. So while combining features from both of the previous products, the more modern chip should also allow growth into the future.

Core features on the ChipWhisperer-Husky include a high-speed logic analyzer, Additional I/O pins, two crowbar glitch sizes, and flexible clock glitching.

Compared to the -Lite, the ChipWhisperer-Husky's new capabilities include streaming mode (20 MSPS @ 8-bit), SMA connectors for trigger input/output, a larger sample buffer (80k vs. 24k), and labeled status LEDs. While some of these features are already available on the -Pro, the -Husky has something even that product does not. Its ADC samples at 200 Megasamples per second, almost 2X the sample rate of previous products. Husky even streams twice as fast as the -Pro!

Previously, NewAE successfully launched the PhyWhisperer-USB as a Crowd Supply campaign. The Husky borrows its visual cues from that product. In the past, we covered the ChipWhisperer-Nano. That board is a slimmed-down version of the -Lite, primarily missing the glitching features.

On Twitter, NewAE's creator Colin O'Flynn says the cost target for the ChipWhisperer-Husky is in the approximate range of $500. This price point puts it at about 2X the price of the -Nano. O'Flynn also confirms that both the -Lite and -Nano will remain available and supported.

Unlike previous products, NewAE's is not fully open-sourcing ChipWhisperer-Husky. The hardware design remains closed. However, the FPGA logic, microcontroller firmware, and code on the PC side are all open source. Check out the ChipWhisperer-Husky GitHub repository for the code initial code.

For updates to when the Crowd Supply campaign launches, sign up on the ChipWhisperer-Husky pre-launch page.

James Lewis
Fan of making things that blink, fly, or beep. Host on element14 Presents,, AddOhms, and KN6FGY.
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