Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2022/092

Rethinking Watermark: Providing Proof of IP Ownership in Modern SoCs

N. Nalla Anandakumar and M. Sazadur Rahman and Mridha Md Mashahedur Rahman and Rasheed Kibria and Upoma Das and Farimah Farahmandi and Fahim Rahman and Mark M. Tehranipoor

Abstract: Intellectual property (IP) cores are essential to creating modern system-on-chips (SoCs). Protecting the IPs deployed in modern SoCs has become more difficult as the IP houses have been established across the globe over the past three decades. The threat posed by IP piracy and overuse has been a topic of research for the past decade or so and has led to creation of a field called watermarking. IP watermarking aims of detecting unauthorized IP usage by embedding excess, nonfunctional circuitry into the SoC. Unfortunately, prior work has been built upon assumptions that cannot be met within the modern SoC design and verification processes. In this paper, we first provide an extensive overview of the current state-of-the-art IP watermarking. Then, we challenge these dated assumptions and propose a new path for future effective IP watermarking approaches suitable for today's complex SoCs in which IPs are deeply embedded.

Category / Keywords: applications / IP Watermarking, System-on-Chip (SoC), Intellectual Property (IP) cores.

Date: received 25 Jan 2022

Contact author: nnachimuthu at ufl edu

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Version: 20220131:074212 (All versions of this report)

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