Infineon Helps Launch New Electronics Cybersecurity Research Project
Infineon and 11 partners are launching a new research project to boost cybersecurity in electronics design and development.
Germany-based Infineon Technologies, one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world, recently announced its participation in a new research project to identify security gaps in electronics design and build processes to prevent cyberattacks and intellectual property theft.
VE-VIDES is a new cybersecurity research project aiming to improve security processes in electronics development. (Image courtesy of VE-VIDES)
The project is dubbed VE-VIDES or “Design methods and hardware/software co-verification for the unique identifiability of electronic components.” It’s funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s Trustworthy Electronics (ZEUS) program, which aims to form a concept to secure individual IP components and prevent security risks, attacks, and third-party manipulation.
The overarching goal of the project is to “[transform] hardware from an Achilles’ heel to a foundation of trustworthiness, making use of the immutability of hardware after production, similar to a fingerprint.”
Partners in the VE-VIDES project, funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. (Image via VE-VIDES)
Infineon is one of 12 project partners across research, academia and industry. Others include electronics sector giants such as Siemens and its newly acquired OneSpin Solutions business, Robert Bosch, Volkswagen automotive software firm CARIAD, Synopsys and the X-FAB Global Services foundry, along with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS’s Division Engineering of Adaptive Systems EAS, the nonprofit Institute for Microelectronics and Mechatronic Systems, the OFFIS e.V. Institute for Information Technology, Chemnitz University of Technology and Ulm University.
The project will research trustworthy development and verification processes to prevent both hacking and physical attacks targeting German and European electronic systems and integrated circuits. The cybersecurity vulnerability index CVE-MITRE estimates a 43% reduction in system vulnerabilities when such flaws are eliminated at the hardware level.
The project comes as Germany is fueling billions of dollars into its semiconductor sector in a bid to reduce its reliance on foreign chips for vital products like vehicles, medical equipment, mobile devices, energy infrastructure, and 5G networks.
An overview of the new VE-VIDES project, which aims to improve electronics cybersecurity. Image courtesy of VE-VIDES
This push spreads across the European Union, which introduced the EU Chips Act proposal last week to support semiconductor self-sufficiency. In late-2020, Germany and about a dozen other European countries teamed up to invest in processors and semiconductor technologies, facing growing competition from U.S. and Asian markets.
The German government recently said it intends to invest around 3 billion euros (or about $3.5 billion USD) to bring chip producers back to Europe amid ongoing semiconductor supply shortages.