I read this article from The hacker news (article).

I understand the figure showing how P1735 works but I'm wondering, when you ship your IP (Intellectual Property) to a client, the code needs to be readable in order to be executed. But to do so, you need the vendor Private Key. If the piece of hardware is somehow connected to the internet you can request the key to the vendor at each boot (for example) but what happens when the hardware is not designed to be online. Is the key simply stored inside the chip with some kind of obfuscation? How?

If the key is stored inside the hardware that means that with enough effort one could recover the private key and maybe also the Symmetric Key. Or maybe I totally missed the point...

1 Answer 1


The encrypted HDL is decrypted by the EDA tool. The private key is needed by EDA tool during analysis phase (e.g. simulation) or transformative phase (e.g. synthesis). The private key belongs to EDA tool. Key is not needed by hardware. You can find more details at https://ipencrypter.com/brochures/hdl-ip-protection/

  • hooo I see. So P1735 is to avoid the IP being stolen by the guys that synthesise the board. This has nothing to do with the final customer.
    – oXis
    Nov 10, 2017 at 20:05

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