A Secure Content Delivery System Based on a Partially Reconfigurable FPGA

Yohei HORI  Hiroyuki YOKOYAMA  Hirofumi SAKANE  Kenji TODA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E91-D   No.5   pp.1398-1407
Publication Date: 2008/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e91-d.5.1398
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Information and Communication System Security)
Category: Contents Protection
Keyword: 
field-programmable gate array (FPGA),  partial run-time reconfiguration (RTR),  content protection,  digital rights management (DRM),  

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Summary: 
We developed a content delivery system using a partially reconfigurable FPGA to securely distribute digital content on the Internet. With partial reconfigurability of a Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGA, the system provides an innovative single-chip solution for protecting digital content. In the system, a partial circuit must be downloaded from a server to the client terminal to play content. Content will be played only when the downloaded circuit is correctly combined (=interlocked) with the circuit built in the terminal. Since each circuit has a unique I/O configuration, the downloaded circuit interlocks with the corresponding built-in circuit designed for a particular terminal. Thus, the interface of the circuit itself provides a novel authentication mechanism. This paper describes the detailed architecture of the system and clarify the feasibility and effectiveness of the system. In addition, we discuss a fail-safe mechanism and future work necessary for the practical application of the system.