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Copy protect FPGA with secure EEPROM

Posted: 13 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Identification Friend or Foe? DS2432? Xilinx? PicoBlaze?

This application note by Xilinx describes a cost-optimized copy protection scheme that helps protect an FPGA against cloning. The design leverages an external secure serial EEPROM, such as the Dallas Semiconductor/Maxim DS2432 (1 kbit protected 1-wire EEPROM with SHA-1 engine). The included reference design uses an optimized PicoBlaze 8-bit microcontroller. This application note provides a hardware design with associated PicoBlaze software code. The code loads a secret key into the secure EEPROM and authenticates the user system with the secure EEPROM.

Many FPGA designs require copy protection to protect FPGA intellectual property from cloning by unauthorized parties. There are many levels of security that can be applied in terms of copy protection. Virtex-II, Virtex-II Pro, Virtex-II Pro X, Virtex-4, Virtex-5, Virtex-6, and a few of the larger Spartan-6 devices offer encryption of the configuration data which is used in systems requiring the highest level of security. For more cost-sensitive applications where the level of security required is limited to protecting against unauthorized cloning of FPGA devices, authentication using an Identification Friend or Foe concept is viable.

View the PDF document for more information.

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