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Watermarking FPGA Bitfile for Intellectual Property Protection

Keywords: Field programmable gate array (FPGA) , Intellectual property protection (IPP) , watermarking

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Abstract:

Intellectual property protection (IPP) of hardware designs is the most important requirement for many Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) intellectual property (IP) vendors. Digital watermarking has become an innovative technology for IPP in recent years. Existing watermarking techniques have successfully embedded watermark into IP cores. However, many of these techniques share two specific weaknesses: 1) They have extra overhead, and are likely to degrade performance of design; 2) vulnerability to removing attacks. We propose a novel watermarking technique to watermark FPGA bitfile for addressing these weaknesses. Experimental results and analysis show that the proposed technique incurs zero overhead and it is robust against removing attacks.

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