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Proceedings Paper

Watermarking strategies for IP protection of micro-processor cores
Author(s): L. Parrilla; E. Castillo; U. Meyer-Bäse; A. García; D. González; E. Todorovich; E. Boemo; A. Lloris
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Paper Abstract

Reuse-based design has emerged as one of the most important methodologies for integrated circuit design, with reusable Intellectual Property (IP) cores enabling the optimization of company resources due to reduced development time and costs. This is of special interest in the Field-Programmable Logic (FPL) domain, which mainly relies on automatic synthesis tools. However, this design methodology has brought to light the intellectual property protection (IPP) of those modules, with most forms of protection in the EDA industry being difficult to translate to this domain. However, IP core watermarking has emerged as a tool for IP core protection. Although watermarks may be inserted at different levels of the design flow, watermarking Hardware Description Language (HDL) descriptions has been proved to be a robust and secure option. In this paper, a new framework for the protection of μP cores is presented. The protection scheme is derived from the IPP@HDL procedure and it has been adapted to the singularities of μP cores, overcoming the problems for the digital signature extraction in such systems. Additionally, the feature of hardware activation has been introduced, allowing the distribution of μP cores in a "demo" mode and a later activation that can be easily performed by the customer executing a simple program. Application examples show that the additional hardware introduced for protection and/or activation has no effect over the performance, and showing an assumable area increase.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 April 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7703, Independent Component Analyses, Wavelets, Neural Networks, Biosystems, and Nanoengineering VIII, 77030L (12 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850526
Show Author Affiliations
L. Parrilla, Univ. of Granada (Spain)
E. Castillo, Univ. of Granada (Spain)
U. Meyer-Bäse, Florida State Univ. (United States)
A. García, Univ. of Granada (Spain)
D. González, Univ. of Granada (Spain)
E. Todorovich, Univ. Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
E. Boemo, Univ. Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)
A. Lloris, Univ. of Granada (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7703:
Independent Component Analyses, Wavelets, Neural Networks, Biosystems, and Nanoengineering VIII
Harold H. Szu; F. Jack Agee, Editor(s)

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