Embedded SRAM security for IP protection in Intel FPGAs

Embedded SRAM security for IP protection in Intel FPGAs

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By Nick Flaherty

Intrinsic ID has developed a version of its SRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) security IP for Intel FPGAs.

QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs is device-level security IP that comes pre-integrated as part of the security infrastructure of several Intel FPGA families. It creates a more secure platform by providing access to Intrinsic ID’s SRAM PUF technology on the FPGAs. SRAM PUF root keys are only available in volatile memory when needed and not stored anywhere on the device. Any key – or other sensitive data – can be encrypted with PUF-derived keys, binding them physically to the device so that they cannot be copied or cloned.

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QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs is designed specifically for engineers working on military, aerospace, and government applications. It is based on Intrinsic ID’s proven SRAM PUF IP, QuiddiKey, which is certified for military and aerospace applications and has been deployed by US and European defense agencies for over a decade.

The deployment of PUF technology on Intel FPGAs enables Bitstream Encryption Keys to be ‘wrapped’ with device unique keys, so each owner of the device can protect the device and their IP, so a trusted supply chain is maintained through to ‘End of Life’ (EOL) of the device.

“Since FPGAs are commonly used to facilitate many of the leading-edge advances in defense and other mission critical applications, they all require strong security measures. That is why we have collaborated with Intel to embed our technology in their FPGAs,” said Pim Tuyls, CEO of Intrinsic ID. “Enabling streamlined access to the Intrinsic ID SRAM PUF technology through QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs provides Intel FPGA customers the best way to protect their hardware, IP, and sensitive data both now and in the future.”

“The QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs IP block provides Intel FPGA customers with more application-level uses of Intrinsic ID’s PUF technology. The PUF-based hardware IP augments the existing boot security use cases enabled today in Intel’s Secure Device Manager (SDM) PUF,” said Rina Raman, Vice President, Intel Datacenter & Artificial Intelligence Group.

Advances in AI, machine learning and greater connectivity are used heavily in defense electronics systems adding increased complexity and widening the possible attack surface of these devices. In parallel, the sophistication of adversaries is rising, calling for more robust security measures to prevent cloning and counterfeiting which can threaten the supply chain and lead to theft of assets containing sensitive IP.

The authenticity and integrity of these devices needs to be guaranteed through strong, user-generated cryptographic keys rooted in the structure of the FPGA itself. These cryptographic user keys need to be unclonable, never stored on a device and invisible to an attacker even when the device is powered off, particularly in an unmanned device. This is what QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs delivers. It provides SRAM PUF technology from Intrinsic ID on Intel Stratix and Agilex FPGA families.

Like other Intrinsic ID products, QuiddiKey for Intel FPGAs uses the inherently random start-up values of SRAM as a PUF, which generates the entropy required in a strong hardware root of trust. Intrinsic ID security IP has been deployed and proven in more than three hundred fifty million devices and is certified by NIST, EMVCo, Visa, CC EAL6+, PSA, and ioXt.;

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