Rethinking Watermark: Providing Proof of IP Ownership in Modern SoCs

Challenging existing solutions, this paper provides new research directions to make watermarking a promising solution to IP protection.


“Intellectual property (IP) cores are essential to creating modern system-on-chips (SoCs). Protecting the IPs deployed in modern SoCs has become more difficult as the IP houses have been established across the globe over the past three decades. The threat posed by IP piracy and overuse has been a topic of research for the past decade or so and has led to creation of a field called watermarking. IP watermarking aims of detecting unauthorized IP usage by embedding excess, non-functional circuitry into the SoC. Unfortunately, prior work has been built upon assumptions that cannot be met within the modern SoC design and verification processes. In this paper, we first provide an extensive overview of the current state-of-the-art IP watermarking. Then, we challenge these dated assumptions and propose a new path for future effective IP watermarking approaches suitable for today’s complex SoCs in which IPs are deeply embedded.”

Find the technical paper link here. Published Jan 2022.

Anandakumar, N. Nalla & Rahman, M Sazadur & Rahman, Mridha Md Mashahedur & Kibria, Rasheed & Das, Upoma & Farahmandi, Farimah & Rahman, Fahim & Tehranipoor, Mark. (2022). Rethinking Watermark: Providing Proof of IP Ownership in Modern SoCs.

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