Secured FPGA production programming at Microsemi

March 15, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Microsemi Corporation unveiled a Secured Production Programming Solution (SPPS) for its field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

The new solution securely generates and injects cryptographic keys and configuration bitstreams into Microsemi's FPGAs thus preventing cloning, reverse engineering, malware insertion, leakage of sensitive intellectual property (IP) such as trade secrets or classified data, overbuilding and other security threats.
The SPPS includes the use of "customer" and "manufacturer" hardware security modules (HSMs) combined with Microsemi firmware, the company's SPPS Job Manager software and state-of-the-art security protocols built into every Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA. SPPS allows customers to automatically prevent today's major security threats by external adversaries or competitors, contract manufacturers and their employees, or other insiders.

The SPPS builds upon Microsemi's existing internal Hardware Security Module (HSM) manufacturing infrastructure, which uses certified HSMs for provisioning factory keys and certificates during wafer sort and package testing. Provisioning by Microsemi allows customers to securely program their unique key material and designs into the company's SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO2 FPGAs in untrusted locations around the world. HSMs effectively remove the vulnerability posed by insiders, especially those within manufacturing locations. This is all accomplished while maintaining confidentiality of sensitive data and preventing tampering, such as insertion of a Trojan horse.

Microsemi's SPPS Job Manager software generates a job file containing encrypted security parameters, authorized production device limit counts and an FPGA bitstream, allowing the user to monitor all aspects of the FPGA production job, including specifying the key management options desired and allowing them to assert positive control over the number of systems produced.

This file is only readable by the target manufacturing HSM. The SPPS also generates encrypted files for the reconfiguration of FPGAs previously "keyed" by the user, such as those in fielded systems.

All security-sensitive operations including device authentication (to provide supply chain assurance), cryptographic key generation, bitstream encryption, the authorization and counting of produced systems, and the signing of audit logs are performed within the hardware security boundary of the FIPS140-2 level 3 certified Thales