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Hardware designers need to precisely analyze high-level descriptions for illegal information flows. Language-based information flow analysis can be applied to hardware description languages, but a straight-forward application either conservatively rules out many secure hardware designs, or constrains the designers to work at impractically low levels of abstraction. The authors demonstrate that choosing the right level of abstraction for the analysis, by working on Finite State Machines instead of the hardware code, allows both precise information flow analysis and high-level programmability.
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