Every now and again something comes along that makes you say: "Wow, what a good idea!" Such is the case with Synplicity's proposal for an Open IP Encryption scheme.
Truth to tell, until recently I really didn't have much of a clue as to what is involved when it comes to encryption. I'd heard terms like "PGP" (Pretty Good Privacy), DES, Triple DES, AES, and "Public Key Encryption" without really knowing what they meant.
Well, Synplicity's white paper explains all. It starts by explaining the main features of symmetric encryption, which is fast but you have to communicate the "key" to the recipient. Next it introduces asymmetric encryption (also known as public key encryption), which gets around the key problem, but which is horrendously slow.
Finally, the paper introduces a proposed hybrid system in which the large block of data is encrypted using a symmetric scheme, and then the key used to perform this encryption is itself encrypted using an asymmetric algorithm.
Although this may seem a bit convoluted, it all makes sense when you read the paper. One of the biggest problems in the EDA industry at the moment involves protecting and deploying intellectual property (IP). It looks like Synplicity has found a solution that will satisfy everyone.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.