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Silicon biometrics to secure FPGAs

Posted: 12 Dec 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:biometrics silicon? FPGA? technology PUF?

New technology from Verayo Inc. exploits the uniqueness of FPGA silicon to provide silicon biometrics for authentication and security applications.

The folks at Verayo, who specialize in providing security and authentication solutions, have announced the availability of their new Soft Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) technology for FPGAs and FPGA-based systems.

Soft PUF extracts chip-unique signatures to authenticate the FPGA silicon and the underlying board or system. These chip-unique signatures can also be used as dynamic, unique and volatile secret encryption/decryption keys to enable new security applications not previously possible on FPGA platforms.

Chip-unique signatures
PUF, a kind of "silicon biometrics" technology, extracts unique signatures of a silicon chip for authentication and security applications. The Soft PUFs are PUFs implemented in existing off-the-shelf FPGA devices to extract the unique signatures of the FPGA silicon. Soft PUFs do not require any modifications to the FPGA silicon or design tools.

The chip-unique signatures extracted by Soft PUFs enable a strong protection against counterfeiting and over-building of FPGAs and/or FPGA-based systems. The same chip-unique signatures are also used as dynamically-generated, unique and volatile cryptographic keys to provision secure applications, or to control access to features and functions tied to the individual FPGA silicon. This enables Soft PUFs to elevate security, flexibility and reduce cost of product development, which are particularly useful where market pressures or production volumes do not justify spinning an ASIC.

- Clive Maxfield
Programmable Logic DesignLine

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