How to protect intellectual property (IP) with an FMU exported from Simulink in R2020b?

There are two different kinds of functional mockup unit (FMU) which can be exported from Simulink:

  1. Standalone FMU
  2. Tool-Coupling FMU

Which kind of FMU should I choose if my goal is IP protection?

ANSWER

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The FMI standard does not specify anything related to IP protection, however “Standalone” FMU exports get some degree of IP protection.

Standalone FMU:

Since Simulink Compiler uses the Simulink Coder infrastructure, FMU Export gets some level of IP protection:

  • Compiled binaries: the original Simulink model/source code are compiled into binary form (user cannot recover original Simulink model)
  • Obfuscated symbols: C function and global variable names are obfuscated after code generation (user cannot recover meaningful source code function/symbol names)

What FMU export does not have:

  • Obfuscated constants (user cannot recover meaningful string literals and numerical constants)
  • Additional encryption of dynamic library file (user cannot recover original memory layout)
  • Password protection for FMU zip package (user cannot decrypt FMU without password)

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