Using design obfuscation to keep confidential designs confidential.
By Ralph Grundler, Flex Logix
Before Covid-induced supply chain issues affected semiconductor availability and lead times, concerns about counterfeit parts and trusted supply chains were becoming the subject of many articles and discussions affecting critical data centers, communications, public infrastructure, and facilities such as regional power plants and the grid. Today’s semiconductor design and manufacturing is complex, requiring touchpoints in many stages of development and gone are the days where the entire design stays in-house from design conception to manufacturing, packaging, test, and distribution. Even though there are many security and encryption techniques designers can use to make a chip secure, what else can be done to increase the confidence that the chip is trustworthy? eFPGA opens a new range of capabilities
One issue with today’s modern design flow is the access to “Trusted Fabs” for confidential designs. Just too many eyes in the process flow to assure that a confidential design can be kept confidential. Some would say this is a crisis for accessing fabs below 14nm.
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