Sachin Gupta, Cypress Semiconductor
embeddd.com (April 28, 2013)
A company’s success - and its future - depends on the creation and successful defense of intellectual property (IP), which is generally defined as "creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized.” IP is the outcome of innovation and work done by an organization/person and gives a company's products an edge over competitors.
For an organization that manufactures embedded systems, IP can be:
- Firmware implementation of a system
- Hardware implementation; i.e., signal chains or output control using innovative methods that differentiate the product from others
- Any innovative method to solve a particular problem in the system
An embedded system implementation that uses the minimum possible hardware resources is one example. This reduces the manufacturing cost of the product, in turn making it easy to sell in a competitive market.
IP security is a major challenge for any company. Each product is created only after a significant amount of R&D and innovation. After releasing the product to the market, a significant concern for an embedded system manufacturer is reverse engineering, a bitter reality in today’s market. It can significantly impact the product revenue if a competitor can hack your IP and copy your design.
When it comes to IP security in embedded systems, the first thing that comes to mind is the firmware that goes along with the microcontroller/microprocessor. Some system designers do not think beyond firmware to consider hardware, which is also at risk for design theft.
Click here to read more ...