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IEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Vol. E91.A (2008) No. 1 P 211-220



Special Section on Cryptography and Information Security

By diversifying processor architecture, computer software is expected to be more resistant to plagiarism, analysis, and attacks. This study presents a new method to diversify instruction set architecture (ISA) by utilizing the redundancy in the instruction set. Our method is particularly suited for embedded systems implemented with FPGA technology, and realizes a genuine instruction set randomization, which has not been provided by the preceding studies. The evaluation results on four typical ISAs indicate that our scheme can provide a far larger degree of freedom than the preceding studies. Diversified processors based on MIPS architecture were actually implemented and evaluated with Xilinx Spartan-3 FPGA. The increase of logic scale was modest: 5.1% in Specialized design and 3.6% in RAM-mapped design. The performance overhead was also modest: 3.4% in Specialized design and 11.6% in RAM-mapped design. From these results, our scheme is regarded as a practical and promising way to secure FPGA-based embedded systems.

Copyright © 2008 The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers

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