The development and implementation of intellectual property (IP) protection mechanisms is of crucial importance for the emerging reuse-based system design methodology. Maybe even more importantly, it is such an elegant scientific and engineering challenge that it has drawn a lot of attention from academia and industry in recent years.
Intellectual Property Protection in VLSI Designs: Theory and Practice provides an overview of the security problems in modern VLSI design with a detailed treatment of our newly developed constraint-based protection paradigm for the protection of VLSI design IPs from FPGA design to standard-cell placement, from high-level synthesis solutions to gate-level netlist place-and-rout, and from advanced CAD tools to physical design algorithms. The problem of VLSI design IP protection is much more challenging than the protection of multimedia contents or software, and our protection paradigm is also conceptually different from the state-of-the-art approaches in those domains.
The key idea in this newly developed IP protection paradigm is to superimpose additional constraints that correspond to an encrypted signature of the designer to design/software in such a way that quality of design is only nominally impacted, while strong proof of authorship is guaranteed. It consists of three integrated parts: constraint-based watermarking, fingerprinting, and copy detection. Its correctness relies on the presence of all these components. In short, watermarking aims to embed signatures for the identification of the IP owner without altering the IP's functionality; fingerprinting seeks to provide effective ways to distinguish each individual IP users to protect legal IP buyers; copy detection is the method to trace improper use of the IP and demonstrate IP's ownership.
Intellectual Property Protection in VLSI Designs: Theory and Practice contains the mathematical foundations for the developed IP protection paradigm, detailed pseudo-code and descriptions of its many techniques, numerous examples and experimental validation on well-known benchmarks, and clear explanations and comparisons of the many protection methods.