A Glossary For Chip And Semiconductor IP Security And Trust


A significant portion of electronic system vulnerabilities involves hardware. In 2015 the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE-MITRE) database recorded 6,488 vulnerabilities. A considerable proportion (43%) can be classified as software-assisted hardware vulnerabilities (see Fig. 1). The discovery of Meltdown and Spectre in January 2018 has sparked a series of investigations into hardware ... » read more

High-Level Design And High-Level Verification


Not so long ago, some EDA vendors were painting a very attractive picture of chip design in the then-near future. The idea was that an architectural team would write a single description of the complete system in some high-level language, usually C/C++/SystemC, and that a new class of EDA tool would automatically partition the design into hardware and software, choosing the functionality of eac... » read more

Chip Security Needs A New Language


By Sven Beyer and Sergio Marchese Safety- and security-critical systems, such as connected autonomous vehicles, require high-integrity integrated circuits (ICs). Functional correctness and safety are necessary to establish IC integrity, but not sufficient. Security is another critical pillar of IC integrity. Systems and products using ICs with security vulnerabilities ultimately undermine th... » read more

A Holistic View Of RISC-V Verification


Last month, we discussed the growth of the RISC-V open processor ecosystem, the two main organizations driving it, and the role that OneSpin plays. In addition, we have become very active in the RISC-V community and have more than a dozen technical articles published, conference talks presented, and upcoming talks accepted. We tend to focus on the challenges of verifying RISC-V IP cores and sys... » read more

Enabling The RISC-V Ecosystem


Earlier this year, OneSpin’s Sven Beyer discussed the emerging RISC-V processor and some of its verification challenges. He stated that “RISC-V is hot and stands at the beginning of what may be a major shift in the industry.” In the few intervening months, it has become even more apparent that RISC-V is fundamentally changing system-on-chip (SoC) development. Dozens of commercial and open... » read more

Intellectual Property: Trust… But Verify


For those around the microelectronic component industry for many years, we have seen quite a transformation of capability, sourcing of the supply chain, and now threats to these devices that drive the technology in our world today. These integrated circuits (ICs), once so simple as a few transistors, have continued to follow Moore’s Law and are now made up of tens of billions of transistor... » read more

Hardware Trojans And The Problem Of Trust In Integrated Circuits


Electronic systems are at the core of an ever-increasing number of products and services. From power plants to automobiles, from medical devices to airplanes, from smartphones to home appliances, complex electronic systems enable an unprecedented level of automation, performance, safety, and security. Integrated circuits (ICs) are the backbone of these systems. It is of paramount importance tha... » read more

Fibonacci And Honey Bees Have Something In Common: A Sweet Spot For Formal


Time flies and the OneSpin’s Holiday Puzzle tradition has reached its third year. In December 2016, OneSpin challenged engineers everywhere to solve the Einstein riddle using assertions and a formal verification tool. In December 2017, the challenge was to model the hardest Sudoku in the world using assertions and find a solution with a formal tool. In addition, participants had to prove that... » read more

Formal Verification Of RISC-V Cores


RISC-V is hot and stands at the beginning of what may be a major shift in the industry. Even a cursory review of upcoming conferences programs and recent technical articles makes that clear. While it is still early in the evolution of the processor architecture, there is certainly the potential that RISC-V will be a game-changer in the IP and semiconductor industry. As “a free and open ISA en... » read more

Connectivity Checking Is A Perfect Fit For Formal Verification


Formal verification has traditionally been regarded as an advanced technique for experts to thoroughly verify individual blocks of logic, or perhaps small clusters of blocks. However, if you talk to anyone involved in the field these days, you’ll find that the majority of formal users are running applications (“apps”) targeted for specific verification problems. Further, many of these app... » read more

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