Using Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) for Hardware IP Protection

A. Kulkarni and M. Niamat
The University of Toledo, Ohio, United States

Poster stand number: T119

Keywords: Hardware Security, Intellectual Property, Non-Fungible Token

The globalization of integrated circuit (IC) faces threats from possible untrusted participants involved. One of the challenges faced is Intellectual Property (IP) piracy, which causes major revenue losses to the IP vendors. As an example, the foundry can reverse-engineer a GDSII layout file to obtain the gate-level netlist and claim ownership of the design. Substantial research has been done in this area to protect IP from being tampered with, however with the sophistication of attacks, a new dimension of research was required to combat the malicious activities. The proposed work introduces a novel technique of the design file (GDSII) transfer for hardware IP protection by converting the file as a non-fungible token (NFT). The proposed work was developed in Solidity language on Remix IDE and tested on a Ethereum-similar test network called Ropsten. As Ropsten is a test-network, no Ethers or any other currency was utilized for testing.