RISE Hardware & Embedded Security Competition 2020

Are you ready for the challenge?

RISE are running a UK-wide competition for all final year undergrad and masters student projects, in the area of hardware security.

Competition Sponsored by ARM

The competition will be sponsored by ARM, who have kindly contributed towards the prize fund and supply of ARM-based hardware processor units, which may be a useful resource to support students entering the competition.

Competition Time Frame

The competition will synchronise with the 2020-2021 academic year.

19th Oct: Competition opened.

30th June: Deadline for entry. This will be in the form of a limited word count submission, with associated images and/or video presentation. A judging panel will determine the winning entries. The primary requirement is that the project has the underlying theme, or significant technical element pertaining to hardware or embedded system security.

31st August: Winners of competition announced via RISE website and social media channels, with winners contacted and prizes distributed.


We will be offering prizes for entrants to the competition and at this stage can guide on the main prizes to be offered.

1st Prize: Your choice of MacBook Air or Surface Book 3, plus £250 Amazon Voucher

2nd Prize: Your choice of iPAD Air or Surface Laptop Go, plus £150 Amazon Voucher

3rd Prize: Apple Watch SE, plus £100 Amazon Voucher

ARM-based Hardware Kits

We are offering free hardware kits using ARM processor boards, which can be plugged into a PC/laptop USB for power and programming. The headers support 3rd party Arduino format hardware shields, or connection using jumper leads, avoiding need for any soldering. We are offering 2 types of boards in differing quantities: 80 x  NUCLEO-F411RE and 20 x Nordic nRF52840 Development Kits.

NUCLEO-F411RE – These boards are based on an ARM Cortex M4, similar to processors used in IoT devices, industrial automation, or smart watches. They can be programmed using the free MBED platform and have an integrated programming/debugging capability. There are plenty of guides and tutorials online to get up and running with programming these boards. Although the boards do not have any specialist hardware security features built into them, they can be the processing platform to integrate with other 3rd party sensors and modules using the exposed headers.

Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 Development Kits – Looking for a challenge? These boards are recommended for advanced students who are already comfortable with embedded development. Communication centres on Bluetooth (e.g. interface with a custom smartphone app), with NFC also supported. Board programming and debug is via the onboard J-Link programmer. This board has inbuilt hardware security features such as ARM Core and hardware acceleration of AES that can be leveraged for advanced hardware security projects. https://infocenter.nordicsemi.com/pdf/nRF52840_DK_User_Guide_v1.4.1.pdf

To obtain the free hardware kits, please email p.hodgers@qub.ac.uk to enquire further and we will be happy to organise sending those out to you.