Effective Iterative Techniques for Fingerprinting Design IP

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A.E. Caldwell, H. Choi, A.B. Kahng, S. Mantik, M. Potkonjak, G. Qu, J.L. Wong. "Effective Iterative Techniques for Fingerprinting Design IP," 36th ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference Proceedings, pp. 843 -848, June 1999.



While previous watermarking-based approaches to intellectual property protection (IPP) have asymmetrically emphasized the IP provider’s rights, the true goal of IPP is to ensure the rights of both the IP provider and the IP buyer. Symmetric fingerprinting schemes have been widely and effectively used to achieve this goal; however, their application domain has been restricted only to static artifacts, such as image and audio. In this paper, we propose the first generic symmetric fingerprinting technique which can be applied to an arbitrary optimization/synthesis problem and, therefore, to hardware and software intellectual property. The key idea is to apply iterative optimization in an incremental fashion to solve a fingerprinted instance; this leverages the optimization effort already spent in obtaining a previous solution, yet generates a uniquely fingerprinted new solution. We use this approach as the basis for developing specific fingerprinting techniques for four important problems in VLSI CAD: partitioning, graph coloring, satisfiability, and standard-cell placement. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our fingerprinting techniques on a number of standard benchmarks for these tasks. Our approach provides an effective tradeoff between runtime and resilience against collusion.