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Japan OKs copy protection scheme for hard-drive-based DTV recording

Posted: 26 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? Alps Electric? iVDR Consortium? Association of Radio Industries and Businesses? Security Architecture for Intelligent Attachment?

The iVDR Consortium announced early this week that Japan's Association of Radio Industries and Businesses has approved the group's Security Architecture for Intelligent Attachment (SAFIA) as a standard copy protection scheme for hard-drive-based recording of digital TV programs.

Granted in March, approval of the iVDR security scheme by ARIB, a standards-making body of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, clears the way for manufacturers to build video recorders using iVDR-Secure drives. The Japanese market for hard-drive-based recording systems is estimated to be growing at 15 percent per year.

The iVDR Consortium was founded in 2003 and now has 56 member companies, including participants from overseas. Four of the group's eight foundersHitachi, Pioneer, Sanyo and Sharpdeveloped the SAFIA scheme based on public-key infrastructure using a 128bit key and formed the SAFIA License Group in April 2005. That group began licensing SAFIA last November.

The iVDR-Secure hard drive features a tamper-resistant area, implemented in silicon or in an encrypted section on the disk, that contains the authentication data, the content key and such other information as the application type and content type. The iVDR hard disk uses conventional ATA commands and the SAFIA extended secure commands. Only the extended commands can access the tamper-resistant area. The content stored on an iVDR-Secure drive can be copied or moved to other drives that comply with the information in the tamper-resistant area.

At its annual meeting April 24, the group added built-in 3.5-, 2.5- and 1.8-inch drives with the SAFIA security scheme to its specifications as "iVDR-Secure Built-in." The group's initial specifications targeted 2.5-inch and 1.8-inch removable cartridges, but the consortium saw the need for a built-in-drive specification because "demand for capacity is growing to beyond a terabyte for consumer recorders. For such applications, it is necessary to offer built-in drives in addition to removable cartridges," said Toshiaki Hioki, senior manager of Sanyo's Digital Systems Research Center and acting chairman of the consortium.

To urge manufacturers to adopt iVDR drives, Hitachi has developed the iVDR-Secure development kit, which includes the iVDR-Secure middleware, encryption/decryption middleware and the iVDR file system. An evaluation board is also available.

Alps Electric Co. Ltd said it expects to be ready for volume production of iVDR drives by June.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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