Author's Latest Posts


Cost-Effective, Silicon-Based Security Reduces Risks, Achieves Competitive Advantage


IDC Spotlight, by Robert Westervelt, Research Director, Security Products, sponsored by Rambus. Device manufacturers are increasingly under pressure to address security and privacy. Cost-effective, silicon-based security is among the components that can significantly reduce the risk of physical attacks and cyberattacks and achieve a competitive advantage over both legacy and insecure solutio... » read more

Combating Counterfeit Semiconductors in the Automotive Supply Chain


The counterfeit market for semiconductors is real, sizable and growing. Industry analysts peg the current market for fake semiconductors at $75B. Counterfeit chips pose great risk to driver comfort and safety, to say nothing of the severe negative consequences they present to automaker revenues and brand. The good news is there are immediate and cost-effective measures available to secu... » read more

Do Superconducting Processors Really Need Cryogenic Memories? The Case For Cold DRAM


Cryogenic, superconducting digital processors offer the promise of greatly reduced operating power for server-class computing systems. This is due to the exceptionally low energy per operation of Single Flux Quantum circuits built from Josephson junction devices operating at the temperature of 4 Kelvin. Unfortunately, no suitable same-temperature memory technology yet exists to complement thes... » read more

Mitigating DDoS Attacks With Secure IoT Endpoints


IoT life-cycle management should be implemented via a hardware root-of-trust to ensure secure updates of firmware and cryptographic keys. A hardware root-of-trust with a cryptographic identifier also allows each IoT device to be uniquely and cryptographically verified to determine if it is authorized to connect to a specific cloud service. Spoofed or unauthorized devices are easily identified b... » read more

Protecting Computing Systems in a Post-Meltdown/ Spectre World


When Jann Horn of Google’s Project Zero posted a detailed blog titled “Reading privileged memory with a side-channel,” it set off a firestorm of activity as the post confirmed that secret information inside a computer could be accessed via two different attacks, Meltdown and Spectre. Essentially, both attacks utilize CPU data cache timing to efficiently exploit and leak informatio... » read more

Smarter than a Smart Card


Set-top boxes (STBs) were initially secured by Conditional Access System (CAS) smart cards. However, this approach is no longer effective. Smart cards cannot prevent unauthorized access to premium 4K and UHD content, as they are not designed to protect the interface between the card and box, or the STB SoC itself. This is one of the reasons why cardless CAS set-top boxes, equipped with a hardwa... » read more

Full Disk Encryption of Solid State Drives and Root of Trust


File encryption, file system encryption and full disk encryption (FDE) are methods offered by the industry to allow users to protect their data stored on non-volatile storage devices, such as Solid State Disks (SSD). The main feature of FDE is to protect stored system and user date from unauthorized reading, writing, alteration, moving or rolling back. However, extended security feature... » read more

112G XSR And LR SerDes PHYs


The virtuous cycle of increased computing power enabling new applications which demand more computing power continues unabated. Today, applications spanning AI, autonomous vehicles, video streaming, AR and VR all demand more bandwidth, lower latencies and higher speeds. In response, the SoCs powering the terabit routers and switches at the heart of the network must run even faster. The upgrade ... » read more

The Blockchain – Not As Secure As You Think


The blockchain has the potential to touch all aspects of our everyday lives, from buying and trading cryptocurrency, to securing vital healthcare records, to proving that a tomato really is organic. The security challenges, specifically the vulnerability of private keys faced by the cryptocurrency market, prove that before the transformative impact of blockchain technology can be realized, a co... » read more

Introduction to Side-Channel Attacks


Side-channel attacks conducted against electronic gear are relatively simple and inexpensive to execute. Such attacks include simple power analysis (SPA) and Differential Power Analysis (DPA). An attacker does not need to know specific implementation details of the cryptographic device to perform these attacks and extract keys. As all physical electronic systems routinely leak information, effe... » read more

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