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Old 11-26-2003, 06:14 PM
Frank Raffaeli
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Reverse engineering an EDIF file?

> Rastislav Struharik wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > I would like to know does anyone knows, is it possible to reverse
> > engineer an edif netlist file? I am currently developing an FPGA core.
> > I would like to supply an evaluation version of the core, that would
> > have all the functionality of the final core, but would operate only
> > for a limited period of time. My fear is that there is a way to modify
> > the evaluation version edif netlist (find and remove modules that set
> > a time limit to the operation of the evaluation version), and thus
> > obtain completely functional core. Can something like this be done, or
> > am I being paranoid?
> > Every help and clarification on this subject is most welcome.
> >
> > Thanks in advance,
> > Rastislav Struharik

Jim Lewis <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Sorry. An EDIF file should be pretty straight forward to
> reverse engineer. I have had to edit one before. You could
> make it difficult by obfusciating it. One method changes
> all names to be sequences of letters O and l and numbers
> 0 and 1. This would not deter those that are determined
> though. If there is money involved, people are determined.
> You would be better off working with a good legal agreement
> and people who you can trust to abide by it.
> Cheers,
> Jim

One of my assignments 10 years ago was to develop a routing engine for
Lattice Semi's ISP PLD's. It invoved parsing and EDIF file into logic
equations. Jim is right, it would be easy to reverse engineer.

The best advice I ever got about legal agreements was this:
"Get to know who you're dealing with. There is no document that can
make it worthwhile to deal with someone who is dishonorable."

If you can protect the design by making it difficult and expensive to
reverse engineer ... that may be time and money well spent. It also
gives you and your clients a better competitive advantage.

Frank Raffaeli
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