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'[PIC]: CodeGuard(tm) for PIC24/dsPIC'
WH Tan wrote:
> Just read the CodeGuard securities feature of latest Microchip micro.
> Sounds interesting.
Yes, a useful concept.
When you check out the main difference between figures 3 and 4 in their
it seems to me that it is that "semiconductor manufacturer 1" and
"semiconductor manufacturer 2" from figure 3 ("existing design flow") are
replaced with "Microchip" in figure 4 ("redesigned to incorporate
Probably the main problem with that type of security is that it is not open
source, so you kind of either believe that it works or you don't. With up
to 100k of secured storage, that may contain a decent investment -- which
of course makes for a decent incentive to get to it, too.
2006/8/5, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> it seems to me that it is that "semiconductor manufacturer 1" and
> "semiconductor manufacturer 2" from figure 3 ("existing design flow") are
> replaced with "Microchip" in figure 4 ("redesigned to incorporate
> CodeGuard")... :)
Yes. And in summary, it's something like turning a multi-chip design
into a single chip (Microchip) design.
> Probably the main problem with that type of security is that it is not open
Open source? But I think the CodeGuard is a hardware architecture...
Each party (either an OEM vendor, firmware IP provider or anything
similar) will use the CodeGuard feature to protect a portion of the
ROM, RAM or/and EE, where their firmware resides. They will then sell
these chips to vendor with next privilege security level. Then a new
portion of firmware is written, code protected , and sold to next
level... If you see figure 2, that's how an original 3-chip design
turned into a single Microchip design.
WH Tan wrote:
>> Probably the main problem with that type of security is that it is not
>> open source...
> Open source? But I think the CodeGuard is a hardware architecture...
Hardware has (design) sources, too. And hardware security designs can fail,
too. And they could possibly increase the security with the same measures
open source increases it: "for enough eyes, every bug is shallow" or
something like that. Of course, submitting patches would be a difficult
But whether or not that's viable, they don't do it.
Just an idea about security when I read that. As built-in functionality
gets more complex, it also gets more prone to bugs -- and exploits. We're
talking about almost 100k of firmware IP to protect; that can be a
substantial development effort. Which of course also may invite a
substantial cracking effort.
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