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BlackBerry unit licenses Cortus 32bit RISC core

Posted: 08 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:32bit processor? hardware security? security technology?

Certicom Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Research in Motion Ltd, has licensed the APS3 32bit RISC of processor core developer and licensor Cortus SA. The RISC core is designed for use in hardware security.

Certicom provides Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) security technology while RIM is best known as the developer of the BlackBerry smartphone.

The APS3 is part of a class of compact 32bit processors designed for low transistor count. It offers 32bit performance on a silicon footprint that is the same as an 8bit 8051, Cortus has claimed. The core is also focused on high code density, achieves low power consumption as a consequence and a performance of up to 1.67-DMIPS per megahertz.

The ecosystem around the APS3 includes a development environment for C and C++, peripherals typical of embedded systems, bus bridges for interfacing to other IP and system support and functions such as cache and memory management units. For computationally demanding designs, the APS3 can be used in a multicore configuration. The APS3 processor core is currently in production in a range of products from security applications to ultra-low-power RF designs.

"The APS3 helped us meet our design goals and provided the required processing performance. The APS3 co-processor interface allowed the integration of our specific algorithm elements directly into the instruction set enabling efficient firmware to be developed," said Dan O'Loughlin, director of hardware technology at Certicom, in a statement issued by Cortus.

Mike Chapman, CEO of Cortus, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer a cost-effective solution to Certicom that enables them to gain silicon space and power consumption."

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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