Project VE-VIDES

Under the overall control of Infineon Technologies AG, 12 science and industry partners from Germany are joining forces as part of VE-VIDES. The project is receiving some 10 million euros of funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “Trusted Electronics” flagship initiative. In order for electronic components to be trustworthy in every respect, it’s necessary not only to secure them against tampering and know-how theft, but also to ensure that the original specifications can be explained and verified in concrete terms after manufacturing. New and improved design methodology is needed so that these measures can also be implemented for the complex international value chains involved in electronics manufacturing. This is where the VE-VIDES research project comes into play. Together, 12 partners from research and industry are working on a holistic concept for the design of trusted electronics. As part of these efforts, Fraunhofer IIS/EAS is researching methods for verifying the trustworthiness of hardware, as well as an improved electronics development process in the automotive sector.

The approach

In safety-critical areas especially, electronic systems can pose a risk if they don’t operate in a trustworthy manner. In order to galvanize German electronics developers and integrators of microelectronics when it comes to the consistent implementation of trustworthiness, a research project entitled “Design methods and hardware/software co-verification for the unique identifiability of electronic components” (VE-VIDES) aims to examine how this approach can be included from the very start of the design phase. “Here, it’s important to systematically identify potential security gaps and to use reliable mechanisms to protect electronic systems against attacks or IP theft,” explains Dr. Christoph Sohrmann, project manager at Fraunhofer IIS/EAS, one of the participating research institutes. “Moreover, we need to do the same across all international production chains, many of which remain quite opaque to European developers these days.” The work will lead to the drawing-up of guidance for the electronics industry in collaboration with all participating research partners. Once the project is completed, the aim is for this guidance to be developed into a standard.

As part of VE-VIDES, Fraunhofer IIS/EAS in Dresden is working to optimize electronic design methods so that, in the future, they can play a central role in converting hardware from an Achilles’ heel into a foundation for trustworthiness. The scientists are therefore developing innovative methods for the management of complex requirements for trusted electronics. Their aim is to define measurable guidelines and criteria for components – and for the implementation of these guidelines and criteria to be traceable and testable following production. Another key part of this work focuses on procedures for the verification of typical circuit IP, and the project will also include the development of a trustworthy automotive design flow in order to provide a specific example of implementation.

“By participating in the project, we want to help provide manufacturers with greater transparency and explainability thanks to new measures for the design of trusted electronics,” says Sohrmann. “This will pave the way for faster and safer development and therefore a shorter time to market for products across the entire global supply chain.”

BMBF sponsoring
BMBF sponsoring

VE-VIDES is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “Trusted Electronics” flagship initiative.