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TI taps Certicom tech for e-passports

Posted: 15 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e-passport? RFID? electronic identification? secure chip?

Certicom Corp. announced that Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) will use Certicom's Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) embedded technology to enhance security on new government-issued electronic identification such as e-passports and other ID documents.

Under the agreement, TI will license Certicom's low-power ECC/RSA hardware acceleration IP core and cryptographic software for its RF360 smart IC platform. The company said the agreement will help position TI as a leader in secure chip technology for the government and build upon an alliance with TI for standards-based RFID authentication and encryption.

The move also is expected to help meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology key management requirements for Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards, as well as international e-passport requirements.

Julie England, VP of TI, said that coupling her company's FRAM memory and MSP430 processor core with Certicom's ECC technology will increase speed and security for processing government-issued ID cards.

"Cryptographic algorithms are changing," Certicom CTO Bill Lattin said. He explained that as the NIST requires companies to stop using RSA-1024 for PIV key management after 2008, TI will offer an e-ID platform with 256bit ECC that it says is as strong as RSA with 3,072bits.

"As the market for contactless technologies such as e-passports continues on a path of rapid growth, Certicom is completely committed to ensuring that the cryptographic security of these devices can be made robust well into the foreseeable future," he said.

- K.C. Jones
InformationWeek




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