Twelve Partners From Research and Industry Launch Joint Research Project for Trustworthy Electronics

By Taryn Engmark

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

August 19, 2021


Twelve Partners From Research and Industry Launch Joint Research Project for Trustworthy Electronics

Coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG, the research project "Design methods and hardware/software co-verification for the unique identifiability of electronic components" (VE-VIDES) has begun operations.

Twelve partners from the research and academic sectors as well as from electronics and end user industries are working together to develop a holistic security concept for the Internet of Things.

The VE-VIDES goal is to systematically identify potential security gaps in the design phase and to use automatically generated, trustworthy mechanisms to protect electronic systems against attack. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the project as part of its funding measure "Trustworthy Electronics (ZEUS)."

It is already necessary to plan for and secure the trustworthiness of a system and for all subcomponents during design at the architecture level. VE-VIDES is therefore researching trustworthy development and verification processes that give electronic systems verifiable and, whenever possible, quantifiable protection against attacks. The design methods, tool chains, and test suites emerging from this alliance project will give a solid foundation to future development tools for trustworthy electronics and will thus contribute to the technical and technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe.

The essential attack scenarios for electronic systems are:

  • Attacks via the internet (hacking) in which intentionally integrated backdoors and trojans or accidentally overlooked vulnerabilities are exploited in order to change the target system's functionality or steal data stored within the system
  • Electronic, optical, or physical attacks on integrated circuits in order to steal intellectual property or illegally read out or modify data

The leading institution for cataloging cyber-security vulnerabilities, CVE-MITRE, expects a potential 43% reduction in overall system vulnerability when vulnerabilities in trustworthiness are already eliminated at the hardware level. System-level approaches, including access restrictions and redundancy, currently help protect against attacks and reduce security risks. The concept employs an innovative IP design and verification flow to ensure the trustworthiness of security-critical electronics systems in particular.

VE-VIDES follows an application-oriented approach, bringing together companies from important industry sectors such as automotive and industry 4.0 with supplier, development, and research partners.