Elliptic and Impinj Collaboration Bolsters System-On-Chip Digital Content Protection
August 20, 2007 - Ottawa, Canada
Elliptic Semiconductor, Inc., and Impinj, Inc. today announced an agreement to collaboratively develop a secure, standards-based system-on-chip (SoC) reference architecture for content protection applications such as digital rights management (DRM) and conditional access. The reference architecture integrates Elliptic’s embedded security model (ESM) and Impinj’s AEON® multi-time programmable nonvolatile memory (NVM) core to counteract embedded system threats such as reverse chip engineering and cryptographic algorithm security breaches.
Guiding principles for the reference architecture include:
- Utilize security technologies that have been validated through extensive testing with real-world applications by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), the American National Standards Organization (ANSI) and the National Security Agency (NSA).
- Leverage logic NVM to implement advanced hardware cryptography based on embedded, on-chip secrets and root-of- trust methods
- Define a security boundary within the SoC that ensures that only fully validated software processes and local hardware resources can access secret keying material.
“In today's consumer electronics products, hardware IC features play little role in protecting copyrighted content,” said ABI Research Principal Analyst Steve Wilson in a recent report entitled “Secure Processors for Consumer Electronics - From Zero to 60 Million in Six Years.” “Popular digital rights management schemes that depend on secure software implementations such as Windows DRM, Fairplay, and AACS are routinely targeted and hacked. However, processor companies are enhancing their architectures and embracing security features that will simplify secure software implementations and make it much more difficult to copy and share protected content.”
The planned reference architecture integrates Impinj’s AEON® family of multiple time programmable (MTP) logic NVM cores used to embed keys and secure boot code into designs, with Elliptic’s embedded security module (ESM) that defines a security boundary inside the SoC based on sound design practices similar to FIPS-140 security products. Additional architecture features include high-performance symmetric encryption through the advanced encryption standard (AES), hashing through SHA-256, mutual authentication through RSA sign and verify algorithms and the Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol all coordinated through the on-chip secrets stored in AEON/MTP.
Ranked as the fastest growing security IP provider by Gartner, Elliptic Semiconductor Inc. provides semiconductor intellectual property (IP) cores and software for secure communications ranging from low power to multi-gigabit per second implementations. Elliptic SIP cores enable system-on-chip designers to efficiently balance power, performance and silicon area in complex security-based systems. Demanding customers in markets such as implantable devices, wireless, storage, content distribution and high performance communications trust Elliptic IP cores.
Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, automobile parts, luggage and food to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, asset tracking and item authentication. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.
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