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Flex Logix, Intrinsic ID team on eFPGA security

Business news |
By Rich Pell


The integration of Intrinsic ID SRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) military-grade security IP with Flex Logix’s EFLX eFPGA provides a device-unique silicon fingerprint that is used to secure confidential data contained in the bitstream of the eFPGA. If the device is attacked or found in the field, the eFPGA bitstream cannot be read, altered or copied because the root secret is never stored and therefore invisible and unclonable.

This provides a mission-critical level of security to eFPGA customers, says the company.

“With security being one of the top concerns for every SoC, encryption has become a critical technology to ensure the device remains secure from the rising threat of sophisticated hackers,” says Andy Jaros, VP IP Sales, Marketing & Solutions Architecture for Flex Logix. “While there are several options available today for encryption, our technology integration with Intrinsic ID takes security to the next level, particularly when dealing with high-risk assets included in the eFPGA for obfuscation.”

The Intrinsic ID SRAM PUF creates a device-unique fingerprint from which a cryptographic root key is extracted. A key derived from this device-unique root key is used to encrypt and authenticate the bitstream of the eFPGA. If the device is attacked or found in the field, the bitstream of the eFPGA cannot be altered, read, or copied to another device, because it is protected by a key that is never stored and therefore is invisible and unclonable for the attacker.

The main benefits of using the Intrinsic ID SRAM PUF technology over storing a key in non-volatile memory are:

  • High Security: No key material programmed into device and no key present when it is not in use.
  • High Flexibility: Key generation at any time and place in the supply chain without external provisioning.
  • Low Cost: No dedicated security hardware required to protect the key, as it is never stored.
  • Highly Scalable: It employs only standard logic, scaling effortlessly with shrinking technology nodes.

Flex Logix’s eFPGA is offered as being able to save power and reduce cost in markets such as 5G, networking, cloud storage, defense, smart home, automotive, and others. By removing the high-speed SERDES and other unnecessary I/Os or unused peripherals, users can save power and reduce latency. With embedded FPGA, the end product can take advantage of these benefits and still be reconfigurable in the field, saving time and money.

As more and more SOCs are integrating FPGAs, says the company, the question of security is being raised. Flex Logix and Intrinsic ID have published a white paper that describes how their partnership is addressing eFPGA security. For more, see “Taking eFPGA Security to the Next Level.”

Flex Logix Technologies


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