IP Chip Search

Chip Search for Intellectual Property is a new method to reverse engineer chip database files to determine if they contain a given intellectual property (IP) block. This is accomplished using our innovative custom built tools, the first tools ever created to perform these tasks. With integrated circuits (IC)s becoming so complex, and containing such fine scale geometry, the old fashioned reverse engineering techniques are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to perform.

Our tools can perform fast, complete, and definitive searches on a chip database to determine if a circuit is present, even if the database is very large.


Who is Chip Search?

Chip Search for Intellectual Property is a spin-off organization that was formed nearly by accident when a law firm requested that we at SemQuest use our IC design expertise to find a potentially infringing circuit in a large flat GDS database. At that time, we were developing tools for our own use that helped us verify our designs. With significant modifications we were able to put these tools together in a unique way in order to search a netlist or GDS file for potential infringing circuits. The tool is fast. The search is complete. And we have successfully used it on large GDS databases of a size greater than 1Gbyte.

What we do

We are design engineers turned investigators who search complex integrated circuits databases, GDS files, netlists, RTL files, etc for intellectual property. This is accomplished by using our special tools designed specifically for this function.. Here is a typical project flow:

  • Customer provides database files for investigation.
  • Customer provides IP to search for. This could be a schematic, a netlist, or a patent or patent language.
  • We perform database searches at our location.
  • Results of the search are returned to the customer in either graphical form or netlist form and line numbers.

  • Products

    Our tool, Chip Search for Intellectual Property (CSIP) is not yet available for lease or purchase. This tool can currently be accessed through our services only. However, please feel free to inquire about us possibly making this tool available for outside use.


    We perform reverse engineering services to determine the existence of an intellectual property block on any IP chip and provide expert witness testimony that may be needed by our customers. Please contact us with your needs.

    The Whitepaper describes the technology in more detail.