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Microsemi's FPGAs flaunt Physically Unclonable Function tech

Posted: 13 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsemi? Intrinsic-ID? FPGA? Internet of Things? PUF?

Microsemi Corp. has expanded its portfolio of cyber security capabilities for its flagship FPGAs, SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA, with Physically Unclonable Function (PUF) technology licensed from Intrinsic-ID B.V, which claims to be a leader in security IP cores and applications based on its patented hardware intrinsic security technology. The hardened PUF technology enables system architects and designers to have an ultra-secure solution they can depend on when developing applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA claim to be the industry's first and only FPGAs to integrate hardened PUF technology. Patented and engineered by Intrinsic-ID, the PUF technology is implemented by Microsemi using dedicated on-chip SRAM, and is analogous in many ways to a "fingerprint" or "biometric signature" of the FPGA, being uniquely formed on each individual silicon chip as it is being manufactured.

By defining a hardened design with dedicated SRAM and additional countermeasures such as an anti-tamper mesh and dedicated PUF power control, Microsemi achieved a much higher level of resistance to tampering than can be obtained using FPGA soft IP or software-based solutions. When the power is switched off to the PUF, the PUF secret key effectively disappears from the chip. There is no known technology that can read the PUF's secret while its power is off.

A key aspect of cyber security as it relates to the IoT is during operation, positive identification is essential for legitimate machines to be able to authenticate each other so they can perform secure machine-to-machine (M2M) communication as part of the IoT, while rejecting data from imposters and malicious systems.

Using the breakthrough capabilities of the integrated SRAM-PUF technology, high density SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO2 FPGAs incorporate one of the most tamper-resistant device authentication and key storage mechanisms of any IC on the market, stated the company. In combination with the integrated elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) engine, designed to be resistant to differential power analysis (DPA) attacks using patented DPA countermeasures licensed from Cryptography Research Inc., the integrated PUF/ECC security features can be used to generate a public-private key pair where only the SmartFusion2 or IGLOO2 device knows the private portion of the key pair.

Microsemi's SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA product families with PUF and ECC technology are available.

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