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Safety and Security from the Inside—a SoC’s Perspective

Today’s electronics need to address safety and security considerations—the challenge is that concepts are continuously evolving and are redefined based on perspective. Keeping unwanted eyes from your children’s monitors or protecting your smart-home's integrity are real concerns from today’s consumers, and with a growing trend for autonomous technology, including wearables, IoT and cloud, including artificial intelligence, is a concern that needs to be addressed. That said, what are the issues? What do we need to secure and how? Although a number of protocols and infrastructures exist to “secure” data communication, what is the role of the endpoint, or better yet, the SoC? From the SoC perspective, this can translate into multiple things, such as encryption, key management, securing data, or even protecting a debug port. Of course, the specifics vary depending on the SoC’s purpose. Today’s intellectual property (IP) blocks that comprise an SoC are increasingly complex due to an ever-growing number of features and functional expectations; an understanding of the interoperability of the IP is paramount to ascertain where and how to add the necessary elements to keep your SoC secure. This paper discusses the considerations for safety and security from the inside of the SoC, going over the role of the IP, subsystems, and overall design.

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