Secure Local Configuration of Intellectual Property Without a Trusted Third Party

  • Nadir KhanEmail author
  • Arthur Silitonga
  • Brian Pachideh
  • Sven Nitzsche
  • Jürgen Becker
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11444)


Trading intellectual property (IP) for FPGAs relies on configuring devices securely. This is achieved by using built-in security features of modern FPGAs, i.e. internal decryption engines. The disadvantage of using these features is that a trusted third party (TTP) needs to be involved for the preparation of the devices. Previously published schemes, in this area, are dependent on a TTP that mediates between core vendors (CVs) and system developers (SDs), which poses a major flaw in the chain of trust. In this paper, we propose a scheme where CV and SD can establish a licensing agreement without the participation of a TTP using off-the-shelf products. The IP is delivered in a secure format using state-of-the-art encryption methods. Decryption of the IP is handled by an application running on the FPGA that furthermore guarantees a secure configuration of the device. In order to prevent reverse engineering (RE) of the application, we rely on the progress made in hardware-assisted software (HAS) protection using a tamper and side channel attack (SCA) resistant hardware component. As a result, the application establishes a chain of trust between CVs and SDs without the need for a TTP.


Intellectual property FPGA Trusted third party Hardware-assisted software protection IP licensing Partial reconfiguration 



This work was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with funding number 16KIS0662.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FZI Research Center for Information TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Information Processing Technology (ITIV)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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