icon_ucn.png   UCN @ Sophia Quarterly Newsletter 2-2016



Labex UCN @ Sophia General Assembly: come and join us!

June, 13 - 8:30-18:00 - FORUM Amphitheater of the SophiaTech campus

On the 13th of June 2016, the Labex UCN @ Sophia organizes a General Assembly to present its research activity over the 2012-2016 period. This will be the opportunity to give to the scientific community in User-Centric Networks a complete overview of the Labex activity, to disseminate the Labex action and to receive input from the Labex Scientific Advisory Board.

Workshop UCN @ Sophia "Future challenges in User-Centric Networks": registration now open

June, 14 - 10:30-18:30 - Juan-les-Pins congress centre

The Labex UCN @ Sophia organises on June,14 a workshop on “Future challenges in User-Centric Networks” in conjunction with the ACM SIGMETRICS / IFIP PERFORMANCE 2016 conference.

This prospective workshop focus on three core-themes for the future of the networks “Data-centric networking”, “Network virtualization” and “Network security & user privacy”. It will be the opportunity to invite high profile keynote speakers (Don Towsley, Sachin Katti and Krishna Gummadi) and Labex researchers to present their vision and discuss perspectives in these areas. The workshop will end with a panel discussion.

Registration is handled jointly with the SIGMETRICS conference registration. More information about the event

Scientific Advisory Board. Eric Hardouin (Orange Labs) has been appointed Chairman of the Labex UCN @ Sophia Scientific Advisory board. The others members are:

Welcome. Marion Mounier joined the Labex UCN @ Sophia as a communications officer on March, the 1st. She is in charge of the development of a greater visibility of the Labex among its scientific and institutional community. She is also the new key-contact for innovative companies who would like to take advantage of the transferable research results and technologies that emerge from the Labex program to improve their products and services.

Meddays 2016: successful seduction campaign. 38 students hosted, including 16 women: the 4th edition of the Mediterranean Students Days achieved new records this year.


On March 9-11, the attendees from Mediterranean Countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Turkey, Algeria, Lebanon and Egypt), all selected for their excellent academic results, were given presentations from Labex UCN @ Sophia, Inria Sophia Antipolis Mediterranée, I3S and LEAT laboratory and also from former students now working on the site. As they gave very positive feedback on the assets of the SophiaTech Campus and the wide range of education, research and innovation opportunities available at the Sophia Antipolis technology park, these students will become « ambassadors » back in their countries to promote the Campus.
The 4th edition of the Mediterranean Students Days was sponsored by the French Embassy in Spain and the Sophia Club Entreprises.

Post-doctoral contracts funding. The call for applications which ended in March 25th of this year was a real success, attracting talented young researchers from the USA, Italy and France. Three new postdoctoral fellows will be hired at I3S and Inria to work on the following topics:

  • Osama Arouk: “Software Defined Radio Access and Core Networks for 5G” (Inria/DIANA)
  • Carlos Edgard Colman Meixner: “Cloud-Based Virtualized Optical Networks for 5G Access Network (C-RAN)” (I3S/SIS)
  • Geoffrey Portelli: “Deep learning: a biological perspective” (I3S/SPARKS)

A new series of technical seminars. Following the success of the former "eSAME Technical seminars", the Labex UCN @ Sophia launches a new series of technical seminars with support from the Conception CIM/PACA platform. Complementarily with the regular Labex scientific seminars, those seminars will provide useful technical information and a discussion area to engineers and researchers in microelectronics and telecommunications in Sophia Antipolis. They will take place once a month at Sophia Business Pole and involve industrial actors in these domains. The next issues will cover various technical topics around embedded systems, hardware, wireless networks and security (see Agenda below).

Technical seminars

May, 12 – Model-Based Systems & Software Engineering, applications to energy programs

Business pôle Sophia-Antipolis – 12:00-14:00

Speakers: Chloe Dasse, Jair Gonzalez (Esterel Technologies)

Abstract: Best Practices in Model-Based Systems & Software Engineering to improve time to market and  control certification risks.  Today's systems are getting more complex and difficult to manage at very detailed levels. ANSYS-Esterel Technologies proposes a methodology and tools not only to allow cost savings at the various stages of development, verification and certification, but also improve risk management thanks to a better and faster definition of product requirements at system level, for a faster and more predictable time to market. It raises the level at which Energy systems are described and allows for virtual prototyping, static analysis and automatic generation of implementation artefacts.

Registration (free but mandatory, closes on 11/05 at 12:00): https://www.eventbrite.fr/e/billets-model-based-systems-software-engineering-applications-to-energy-programs-24349203122


June,16 – A Journey into Silicon Security

Business pôle Sophia-Antipolis – 12:00-14:00

Speaker: Olivier Thomas, Texplained

Abstract : Over the past decade (hardware) piracy has significantly evolved. In the past, attackers could perform analysis with simple methods for injecting transient faults, such as electrical glitching.  More recently, such forms of analysis have been obsoleted by advanced analysis techniques that utilize capital-intensive failure analysis equipment and require extensive technical skills.  One such technique, laser glitching, has recently been included into Common Criteria evaluations.  The transient faults produced by laser glitching are similar in nature to electrical glitching.  However, the spatial resolution provided by the positionable laser stage means such attacks offer far more precision and are far more potent than, for example, electrical glitching.  Even if this technique is quite effective on some particular kind of devices, more efficient attacks are used by pirates that are willing to create emulators and clones so as to reach mass markets in the form of counterfeited products.  IC vendors are well aware of such attacks and have implemented several layers of obfuscation to thwart straight-forward analysis. Modern ICs transfer exclusively encrypted or obfuscated data over on-die memory buses. With the help of sample preparation and imaging, sufficient information about the core logic implementation can be obtained. This includes identifying areas of the IC where data is processed in the clear. Such areas can then be abused to recover the entire memory content.  This presentation will cover the evolution of silicon attacks from glitching to software assisted Reverse-Engineering based on real-world examples and will cover the process from sample preparation to the actual attack.

Registration (free but mandatory, closes on 15/06 at 12h00): https://www.eventbrite.fr/e/billets-a-journey-into-silicon-security-olivier-thomas-texplained-24365625241

Visiting researcher: Lars Jonsson

LEAT is hosting Pr Lars Jonsson (KTH, Sweeden), a Labex invited researcher, from mid-April to mid-May. The topic of this research is to explore the limits of antennas miniaturization, directivity, and the margin left for improvement. Optimization of antenna performances is moreover critical for the development of future 5G networks which will be based on Massive MIMO technology. The on-going work aims at consolidating antenna theoretical models, their physical assumptions, and paving the way towards new antenna array design with figure of merit closer to theoritical limitations. 

Pr Lars Jonsson research interests include electromagnetic theory in a wide sense, including scattering, antenna theory and nonlinear dynamics. His stay is the opportunity to face his work on electromagnetic modeling and on antenna fundamental limits with real design and measurement of integrated and miniature radiating systems for which LEAT has great experience. This complementarity of expertise is also very profitable for PhD students with whom Lars Jonsson welcomed a quick and direct interaction within the very first days of his stay during the PhD Days of the LEAT.
During his visit on SophiaTech Campus, Lars Jonsson will present a talk in the context of the UCN @ Sophia Labex seminars, giving an overview on multidimensional passivity with applications to electrodynamics (see Agenda below).
This visit initiates a new collaboration between LEAT and KTH. It could lead to a long-term collaboration with Lars Jonsson, including potential students exchanges with Sweden and the publication of a joint paper.


Lars Jonsson is a Professor in electromagnetic fields at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Sweden since 2015. He received the M.Sc. degree in engineering physics from Umeå University, Sweden, in 1995, and the Ph.D. degree in electromagnetic theory in 2001 from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden. He was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Toronto, Canada and a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (postdoc) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


May, 11. Scientific seminar "On multidimensional passivity with applications to electrodynamics". Read more

May, 12. Technical seminar "Model-Based Systems & Software Engineering, applications to energy programs". Register!

June, 13. Labex General Assembly in campus SophiaTech FORUM amphitheater. Register!.

June, 14. "User Centric Networking" workshop joint with the ACM SIGMETRICS / IFIP Performance 2016 conference in Juan les Pins congress centre. Register!

June, 16. Technical seminar "A Journey into Silicon Security". Register!

The next scientific seminars will be held on May,19 - June, 2 and June,30 (topics to be announced).

Open calls

Visiting researcher call. The UCN @ Sophia Labex call for funding high-profile researcher visits is still open. The Labex now also accept successive visits spread over a period of 2 to 3 years. Requests forms are available in PDF, ODT and DOCX formats.

Project developement engineers Labex funding: Third call coming soon. The Labex UCN @ Sophia tightens its links with the industrial world by funding project development engineers. The role of these engineers will be to consolidate the existing platforms, to develop demonstrators and/or to facilitate transfer of research activities of the Labex UCN @ Sophia to the industry. More information coming soon on the Labex website.