FPGA-based designs with first tool to provide further protection

03-06-2021 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip Technology has extended its FPGA family’s security with the DesignShield development tool that further assists in preventing information from being extracted for malicious purposes.

“As a leader in the security space, Microchip offers a portfolio featuring the latest countermeasures for reducing the risk of cloning, intellectual property theft, reverse engineering, or the insertion of malicious Trojan Horses,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “Protecting CPI in deployed systems with our DesignShield tool is essential for national security and economic vibrancy. The tool advances the state of bitstream protection mechanisms and provides another defensive layer in ensuring that deployed systems behave as intended and are safe from counterfeiters and their threat to a developer’s design investments and brand reputation.”

The DesignShield tool was designed to protect developers of aerospace, defence and other high-assurance systems from cybercriminals attempting to obtain an FPGA’s bitstream from the fielded system. It deters reverse-engineering of the bitstream, which may often incorporate CPI, by obscuring its logical equivalent utilising a combination of logic and routing-based encryption techniques. This increases design security and integrity while decreasing system corruption risks and lessens the possibility that custom code, intellectual property, or information critical to national security is employed by non-authorised agents.

The tool is available under license as part of the company’s Early Access Program, allowing customers to start designing with FPGA devices and design tools ahead of broader commercial availability. The tool is part of the company's Libero Development Tool Suite.

By Natasha Shek