Advanced Encryption Techniques for the Prevention of Reverse Engineering of the Programming Code in Military and Space Custom ICs and FPGAs

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-06-C-7515
Agency Tracking Number: B064-008-0076
Amount: $99,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA06-T008
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
MICROELECTRONICS RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT CO
4775 Centennial Avenue Suite 130, Colorado Springs, CO, 80919
DUNS: 619085371
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Eaton
 Chief Engineer
 (505) 507-1390
 paul.eaton@micro-rdc.com
Business Contact
 Mary Dyson
Title: Director Business Operations
Phone: (505) 507-4844
Email: mary.dyson@micro-rdc.com
Research Institution
 ARIZONA STATE UNIV.
 Lawrence Clark
 Research & Sponsored Projects
Tempe, AZ, 85287
 (480) 727-0295
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
We propose the development of advanced encryption techniques to make integrated circuits more secure against unauthorized intrusion, specifically the use of innovative embedded techniques to make reprogramming of high performance deep sub-micron or nano-scale FPGA or custom ASIC systems by other than the intended recipient essentially impossible. The specific concerns addressed in this proposal regard the use of ICs having strategic importance, e.g., radiation hardened FPGAs, gate arrays, and other devices, being used by potential aggressors. As discussed in this overview, we are developing a methodology that is algorithmically robust since we make the worst-case assumption that the algorithm used to protect the device will be known or discovered by an attacker (e.g., through methodical reverse engineering). Such “deconstruction” has become common in the IC industry to the point where it is a routine part of competitive analysis at large IC manufacturers. Services are commercially available and deconstruction reports are available online for a fee. This makes the logic of any device available to any potential aggressor with sufficient resources. Consequently, a level of security that makes use of the devices themselves more expensive than fabricating copies is sufficient.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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