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Battery authentication IC uses cryptographic engine

Posted: 10 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:battery? IC authentication? battery cryptographic?

AT88SA100S battery authentication IC

Atmel Corp. has announced its AT88SA100S, an ultralow-cost, cryptographic battery authentication IC for mobile phones, cameras, portable power tools and other battery-powered applications.

The AT88SA100S CryptoAuthentication IC is the only battery authentication IC that uses a SHA-256 cryptographic engine and a 256bit key that cannot be cracked using brute force methods. It is used to protect mobile phones, portable power tools, cameras and other MCU-based products from counterfeit battery packs.

Counterfeit batteries are often less expensive than those provided by the OEM because they often do not have appropriate protective mechanisms to prevent short circuits, abnormal heat or leakage, ignition, rupture and other malfunctions. They also are likely to lose their charge sooner and wear out more quickly than authentic battery packs. It is estimated that 75 percent of the replacement batteries sold are clones.

The AT88SA100S ensures replacement batteries meet the product manufacturer's standards by providing secure, reliable authentication that can be used to prevent product operation and/or charging with counterfeit product.

The AT88SA100S has 256bits of SRAM for key storage, a guaranteed unique 48bit serial number stored permanently inside the chip and 88 one-time, user-programmable fuses that can be used for the storage of battery parameters or status information. The 256bit key is stored in the on-chip SRAM at the battery manufacturer's site and is powered by the battery pack itself. Physical attacks to retrieve the key are very difficult to effect because removing the CryptoAuthentication chip from the battery erases the SRAM, rendering the chip useless.

Battery authentication is based on a "challenge/response" protocol between the microcontroller in the portable end-product (host) and the CryptoAuthentication IC in the battery (client).

To speed system design, Atmel provides complete ARM- and AVR-compatible source code libraries that implement all necessary cryptographic modules for performing the host-side authentication capability. The AT88SA100S requires only a single GPIO pin on the host processor and only three wires on the connector to the battery, plus a standard bypass capacitor for a low overall BOM impact.

The AT88SA100S battery authentication IC is available now in production quantities in a 1.3mm x 3mm, green-compliant (exceeds RoHS) 3-pin SOT-23 package. Priced at $0.65 in quantities of 1K units, it is 40 percent to 60 percent less expensive than any other battery-authentication IC on the market.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times-Europe





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