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ICs feature functions needed for detecting physical intrusion

Posted: 05 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stm1403a? stm1404? stmicroelectronics? st? security supervisor chip?

IC targets POS terminal marketSTMicroelectronics recently launched a new security supervisor chip family for the point-of-sale (POS) terminal market. The STM140x series of pin- and plug-in compatible ultra-low-current security supervisors is said to be the world's first chip to integrate all functions for detecting physical and environmental intrusion required by the major security standards. These functions, previously implemented using several discrete components, are now integrated into one small, low-power silicon device, said the company.

"These new security supervisors present a real opportunity for cost savings, design simplification, and enhanced features in the POS market," said Peter Lobo, Business Development Manager for Application Specific Analog Products at ST. "They will enable manufacturers to achieve certification for multiple levels of all the major standards in a single submission, and to reduce total manufacturing costs by replacing a whole collection of other parts."

The STM140x family is designed to meet all the above standards for physical and environmental tamper detection. The first chip to be releasedthe STM1403, targets FIPS-140 Security Level 3 and provides more than seven key supervisor functions, including detection of low-power supply and low-battery voltage on power-up; automatic battery switchover in case the primary supply is disrupted; over- and under-voltage alarm; and four physical tamper inputs. An optional 1.237V reference voltage output is also available on the STM1403A for use as reference to an A/D converter.

The STM1404, which is expected to be available in sample quantities in the third quarter of 2005, is intended for the highest security level (Level 4) of the FIPS-140 standard. The chip includes a functional superset of the STM1403 and customer-selectable and factory-programmed over- and under-temperature alarms, in addition to the Security Level 3 functions. The two devices are pin and plug-in compatible, enabling manufacturers to design and certify one platform to all security levels, saving both design effort and the cost of multiple certification.

To maintain battery life on Standby or in portable applications, the supervisors have low battery-current consumption typically 2.9?A for the STM1403 when switched to a 3.6V battery. Both the STM1403A and STM1404 are packaged in a security-friendly 3mm? 16-pin QFN package.

The STM1403 is already available in sample quantities and will enter volume production in Q3 2005. Pricing is $1.50 for the STM1403C and $1.65 for the STM1403A in high volumes.

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