Fast and Accurate Netlist to RTL Reverse Engineering and Netlist Assessment Toolset

Technology #11554

Key Points

  • RTL code recovery tool and a software toolset for detecting code flaws, malicious logic, and other defects in third-party intellectual property (IP) used in the production of integrated circuits (ICs)


Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed two inventions for detecting code flaws and malicious logic in third-party intellectual property (IP) used to produce integrated circuits (IC):

  • RERTL, the UCF Register Transfer Level (RTL) code recovery tool: RTL code is specialized computer language used to describe the structure and behavior of electronic circuits. UCF’s RERTL leverages advanced graph algorithms to assist in netlist (a description of the connectivity of an electronic circuit) analysis. Typically, design defects (due to the influence of complex third-party IP designs with shorter time-to-market constraints or even from malicious code) may be found and corrected with knowledge of RTL, yet if third-party IP designs do not use or allow access to the RTL source code, these flaws may not be detected. Supported by RERTL, these logical states and their interactions are recovered and converted into human-readable RTL.
  • Netlist Assessment Toolset (NETA) software toolset: NETA is designed to aid IP users in assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of their Integrated Circuit (IC) or third-party IP core. Assuring the quality and the trustworthiness of third-party resources has been a hard problem to tackle. Researchers have shown that analyzing ICs, without the aid of golden models, is challenging. The discussed toolset gives access to a slew of gate-level analysis tools, many of which are heuristic-based, for the purposes of extracting high-level circuit design information.

Additional Details

Invention Track Codes: 11554, 11555

IP Track Codes: 34393, 34421