Saverio Fazzari - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, VA
Today’s hardware designs are becoming more and more complex, featuring novel functionality in every iteration. In this context, hardware security plays a key role which has led to huge research and development efforts on designing and deploying hardware security architectures incorporating increasing number of security mechanisms. As a result, the Trusted Computing Base in hardware is not only constantly growing but is also typically highly proprietary through strict IP protection. Consequently, hardware platforms contain design and implementation flaws that are discovered after the fact and exploited by adversaries, as it has been repeatedly and impressively demonstrated in the recent years. Experience has also shown that patching hardware security bugs is not an adequate long-term solution.
On the other hand, the open-source community is advocating open hardware architectures (e.g., RISC-V) as an ultimate solution to establish a transparent roadmap of developing hardware that enables the maxim of “Trust, but Verify”. Indeed, we have already witnessed the popularity of the Linux kernel that spearheaded non-negligible and undeniable success stories in the software world.
As open hardware is quickly becoming a hot topic of research, academia and some enterprises have picked up this trend to “significantly” improve the current state of hardware design and security. While academic research follows the usual path of creating more conference papers and attract more funding, it seems questionable that semiconductor industry would ever be willing to adopt these solutions and open-source their entire hardware designs in the future.
In this panel experts from industry, government, and academia will discuss opportunities, promises and pitfalls of open-source models for improving the state-of-the-art or future hardware designs.
Larry Lapides - Imperas Software Ltd. Eric Keiter - Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM Frank McKeen - Intel Corp. Nele Mentens - Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Belgium