Microchip Protects FPGA-based Designs with Tool that Combats Threat to System Security in the Field

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

June 01, 2021


Microchip Protects FPGA-based Designs with Tool that Combats Threat to System Security in the Field
(Image courtesy of Microchip)

Mission-critical and other high-assurance systems deployed worldwide are under evolving threats from cybercriminals who attempt to extract Critical Program Information (CPI) via the FPGAs that power them.

Microchip Technology announced it has extended its FPGA family’s security with the DesignShield development tool that is designed to further help prevent this information from being extracted for malicious purposes.

The DesignShield tool was created to protect developers of aerospace, defense, and other high-assurance systems from cybercriminals trying to acquire an FPGA’s bitstream from the fielded system. It deters reverse-engineering of the bitstream, which can often include CPI, by obscuring its logical equivalent using a combination of logic and routing-based encryption techniques. This improves design security and integrity while reducing system corruption risks, and reduces the possibility that custom code, intellectual property, or information critical to national security is used by non-authorized agents.  

The DesignShield tool is available under license as part of Microchip’s Early Access Program, which enables customers to begin designing with FPGA devices and design tools ahead of broader commercial availability. The DesignShield tool is part of Microchip’s Libero Development Tool Suite.

For more information, contact [email protected], or visit: www.microchip.com.

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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