Intel® Quartus® Prime Pro Edition User Guide: Partial Reconfiguration

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ID 683834
Date 1/11/2022
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2.12.2. PR Bitstream Authentication ( Intel® Stratix® 10 Designs)

PR bitstream authentication helps to ensure that the firmware and the PR bitstream are from a trusted source, by provisioning the FPGA device with the owner public root key. Authentication is a basic component of device security and bitstream protection.

In PR bitstream authentication, the signed base bitstream must first be configured to the device. Then, the signed PR bitstream is used to configure one or more partial reconfiguration regions of the FPGA device. The signed PR bitstream must match the configured static region.

The following use cases summarize successful and unsuccessful PR bitstream authentication:

PR Authentication Success Use Case:

  • Partial Reconfiguration with Authenticated PR Bitstream—in a successful PR authentication use case, the designer performs full chip configuration using an authenticated .sof file. The designer can only configure the partially reconfigurable regions of the FPGA that are signed with the design signature private key, and that match the currently configured static region. The PR bitstreams are authenticated to ensure that only authorized users can provide the PR bitstream.

PR Authentication Failure Scenarios

The following are some PR authentication failure scenarios:

  • PR Bitstream Is Unsigned—when the target FPGA device determines that the PR bitstream is unsigned, then the PR operation halts and PR bitstream security displays a PR error message.
  • PR Bitstream Is Signed with Expired or Invalid Signature—when the target FPGA device determines that the PR bitstream is signed with an expired or invalid signature, then the PR operation halts and PR bitstream security displays a PR error message.
  • PR Success after PR Failure from Expired or Invalid Signature—when PR of the target FPGA device fails with an error caused by an expired or invalid signature, you can provide a bitstream signed with a valid key to perform the PR operation successfully.

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