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Securing Offload Engines For A Robust Secure SoC System


Welcome to the Securing Offload Engines blog series where we will explore different approaches to security implementations and look at system examples involving Cadence Tensilica Xtensa Processors. In this blog, we will look at why it is important to build a robust secure SoC and introduce some of the common approaches to securing the offload engines. In subsequent posts, we will look at each o... » read more

Keeping Key Management Clear And Physical


Fundamental to all digital security systems is the ability to turn sensitive data into what looks like random incomprehensible jibberish and turn it back again into the same original information. But that is not all there is to it. You should be able to do that second bit of getting the original text only if you are allowed to do so. A classic way to deal with this problem is by using another s... » read more

Electronics For Quantum Communications


Our secure digital communications so far have functioned on the principle of key-based encryption. This involves generating a key of appropriate length, which is then used to encrypt the data. Because distributing the keys is difficult, the keys are reused rather than regularly generating new ones. The regular use of the keys opens up the encryption process to attacks by mathematical methods... » read more

Security Verification of Rambus’ CryptoManager Root of Trust by Tortuga Logic


The confidentiality and integrity of cryptographic key material is critical to maintaining system security. A hardware root of trust, such as the Rambus CryptoManager Root of Trust, is designed to securely generate, store, and employ cryptographic keys. Tortuga Logic has independently verified the policies surrounding access to keys stored within registers in the CryptoManager Root of Trust usi... » read more

Security Implications Of Quantum Computing


The US Government just stepped up the push for quantum computing with an award of $625 million in funding to create five quantum information research centers. Industry and academic institutions will contribute $300 million toward this effort with the remainder drawn from the $1.2 billion earmarked in the 2018 law: the National Quantum Initiative Act. The race to quantum computing is a global on... » read more

The Road To Post-Quantum Cryptography


Quantum computing offers the promise of tremendous leaps in processing power over current digital computers. But for the public-key cryptography algorithms used today for e-commerce, mobile payments, media streaming, digital signatures and more, quantum computing represents an existential event. Quantum computers may be able to break the widely used RSA and ECC (Elliptic-Curve Cryptography) alg... » read more

What Makes A Chip Tamper-Proof?


The cyber world is the next major battlefield, and attackers are busily looking for ways to disrupt critical infrastructure. There is widespread proof this is happening. “Twenty-six percent of the U.S. power grid was found to be hosting Trojans," said Haydn Povey, IAR Systems' general manager of embedded security solutions. "In a cyber-warfare situation, that's the first thing that would b... » read more

Taking A Closer Look At Side Channel Attacks


In last month’s Semiconductor Engineering article, we explored the basics of side channel attacks (SCAs). As we discussed, all cryptographic algorithms are subject to side channel attacks, with vulnerabilities extending across all platforms and form factors. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the two primary categories of side channel attacks: simple power analysis (SPA) and ... » read more

A Glossary For Chip And Semiconductor IP Security And Trust


A significant portion of electronic system vulnerabilities involves hardware. In 2015 the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE-MITRE) database recorded 6,488 vulnerabilities. A considerable proportion (43%) can be classified as software-assisted hardware vulnerabilities (see Fig. 1). The discovery of Meltdown and Spectre in January 2018 has sparked a series of investigations into hardware ... » read more

System Bits: July 30


A camera that sees around corners Researchers at Stanford University developed a camera system that can detect moving objects around a corner, looking at single particles of light reflected on a wall. “People talk about building a camera that can see as well as humans for applications such as autonomous cars and robots, but we want to build systems that go well beyond that,” said Gordon... » read more

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