Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

Protecting Intellectual Property

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ow19m:
Hi ,
I am designing a Complex system and I was wondering about ways someone can protect  intellectual property to keep hackers from breaching in , can someone list possible ways I should be considering at the manufacture stage ?. Also if I remove labels from all the IC's , is it possible to track what IC it could possibly be from for example chinese companies  , for example if I remove a mcu's label ,would it be possible to know which company that mcu belonged to , let alone find what of all the possible controllers with the same footprint ,the exact chip number ?.

Thanks

ataradov:
Forget about it, if you come up with anything really interesting, it will be copied within days if someone really wants. Figuring out ICs is trivial.

The only reliable protection is to have cloud connectivity and make the device useless without that connection. But this is extremely annoying to the customers.

Realistically, just do the bare minimum (set lock bits on the devices and stuff like that) and hope for the best.

Using more expensive parts and larger variety of parts may help too, but it will obviously make the product less attractive to your own customers.

ow19m:
Well maybe your right, the design is basically a 3 phase 100KVA welding Inverter , only a handful of companies have designed such a beast , I'm doubtful it would be that easy to just breakopen everything with over 300+ parts , 8 PCBS. It's not easy to test something that doesnt do continous operation and 440v running through most of the boards  and we're talking about debugging different driver , IGBT boards , CPU.My question is the preventive measures I can take off and the hard truths I'm missing , off course otherwise anything is possible.

thanks,   

ataradov:
Well, so you already follow my advice on making the device too complicated to copy because of many parts. And in your case mechanical design matters too.

You are already in a good place. Rubbing off IC marking is a waste of time. Don't bother, in all cases where is mattered ICs were figured out instantly. Just set lock bits on the MCUs and you will be fine.

ow19m:
One possible way to hack into a processor is side channel attack , that too isn't possible without knowing the chip number  I believe  , Just for knowledges sake ? why do you think removing labels is a waste?

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