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Secure SoC for HDDs qualifies for FIPS 140-2 Level 3 list

Posted: 10 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RISC processor? secure HDD SoC? hard drives?

STMicroelectronics has enabled a substantial advance in the security of data stored on HDDs by becoming the first vendor of secure HDD SoC IP to be listed on the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) Pre-Validation list for FIPS 140-2 Level 3. ST's silicon-validated HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module technology is now available for integration into secure HDD SoC devices.

The Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 specifies requirements for cryptographic modules. The growing importance of FIPS 140-2 and ISO 19790 is the result of the increasing damages to individuals and business resulting from disclosure of sensitiveand confidential information and the proliferation of new laws that require enhanced security and privacy while raising the legal and financial stakes for enterprises that fail to meet the standards.

"This groundbreaking certification defines the start of a new era that raises HDD data security to the state where rigorous testing by independent government-approved laboratories delivers validation, based upon conformance to a national or international security standard," said Vittorio Peduto, ST's general manager of data storage.

This latest step in HDD security is made possible by the embedding of ST's HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module technology within an HDD SoC. A key feature of the HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module is the separation of secure functions from standard drive operations. A secure boundary is well defined around the HardCache-SL3 IP which has at its core an efficient proprietary RISC processor optimized for security. The RISC processor provides the programmability required to rapidly adapt to evolving security protocols.

Coupled closely to the processor core are a suite of hardwired crypto-functions that ensure high performance, reduced power consumption and hidden execution. These functions include FIPS defined algorithms such as AES 256 for encryption and decryption, HMAC-SHA-1 and SHA-256 for hashing and numerous others.

The core architecture of HardCache-SL3 is targeted for application across all major HDD market segments, including Mobile, Desktop and Enterprise. By using the same pre-validated crypto-module for all secure HDD SoCs, ST enables its customers to achieve faster time to market, faster and lower cost FIPS 140-2 certification, the flexibility to carry the same technology across numerous market segments and the ability to keep pace with the increasing requirements of the secure market, as well as the cost benefits of SoC integration.

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