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Electronic Chip ID and Security

The Problem

A) Unless your company designs an ASIC for a product, any third party that has access to the assembled product can create a succesful counterfeit. Commodity parts, Flash devices, FPGAs and other components can be purchased by the counterfeiter. If the gerber files for the PCB are not readily available, components can be removed from the PCB and a netlist generated from point-to-point reverse engineering. Programmable components can be copied and programmed essentially the same way that is done on the legitimate product. Doesn't sound possible? Take a look at the photo to the right.

Most contract manufacturers and their employees are honest hardworking teams and are using your product data just to perform their work. However, it just takes one disgruntled part-time employee, second shift employee or soon-to-be ex-employee to put your product at risk. All of the data files needed to manufacture and program your product, gerber files, FPGA programming files, CPU object code and yes even FPGA security keys fit on a easy to use USB drive. Additional logistic steps to protect your keys and flash data are costly. For instance programming each PCB at the OEM and then re-shipping back to the CM for final assembly. What's the risk? Online re-sellers and online auction sites like e-bay provide easy outlets to sell counterfeits of your electronic product.

B) Your product needs a unique serial number accessible in-system to manage software updates and controlling feature access. Some CPUs used for digital rights management of videos and MP3 have a unique serial

anti-tamper
      Courtesy of Andover Consulting Group  

number. A Spartan 3AN has a unique value but that may be overkill for your design. You may be able to add a serial EEPROM to the design with a unique value. But manufacturing doesn't have an easy way to accomplish programming each one. It is still easy to duplicate a serial number or change it, in a commodity flash.

C) You want to automate your production line and save time and expense of not needing to add serial number bar-codes for each PCB. There are extra costs associated with getting a unique 1D or 2D bar-code on each PCB. If you need a part to link scan-chains, Intellitech's solution will solve both problems for less cost.

 

 

The good news - Help is available!

anti-tamper

 

Intellitech's ICs now come with an ECID, Electronic Chip Identification. Each IC has its own unique serial number which can be used as a PCB level serial number. This serial number is printed on the IC (where space permits) and can be used to follow the history of the IC or PCB on Intellitech's website. Any of our IC's test history can be examined by knowing your customer ID and the serial number of the IC.

Each IC contains the customer's unique code and the code of the company that placed the order (this is typically the CM). Each IC has an non-reversible unique 128 bit number (Xilinx calls Virtex-6 Device DNA) and a SHA256 bit hash of your data, secret key and 128 bit number. Your embedded software may use these values to establish authenticity and to provide a unique product ID for maintaining customer updates and access to software features.

The values are read-only accessible through SPI, I2C or JTAG . If your embedded software has internet access, it may re-validate these unique numbers via hash calculation or by making a simple call to our website.

 

Example Results for SN 12062:

(Real Customer name and Ordering company name obscured)

Wednesday Dec 02,2009
PO# - 3000992296
IC:SRL1AC1-100LF
Serial Number -  12062
Programming embedded Fuse
Reading embedded Fuse
Customer:			 Customer1 Inc.
Customer Number:	 103
Ordered by:			 Offshore CM, Inc.
Order entity #		 2400
Serial# inside:      12062
Unique 128bit ID:	 BDD76347A6B1FA0B1E072B1F050E1E63
SHA256 Secure Hash:  A125D8F749D431CFD2B9ABFF8B6C16F9
                     F9AAF9D47A53E045CFA78CC294007A2E


Time of Completion - 09:31:09
Starting SRL validation test
Testing SRL at 3.3 volts
All tests passed.
Testing SRL at 1.8 volts
All tests passed.
TEST COMPLETE