Don’t Have A Meltdown Over A Spectre In Your SoC


You may be concerned about last year’s widely published Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affecting most processors. Are your phone and computer OK? Or more importantly, if you are designing or verifying a System on Chip (SoC), do you have a specter in your design? Let’s first look at what these two vulnerabilities are and how they may be affecting your system. Both vulnerabilitie... » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

Open-Source RISC-V Hardware And Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh and Richard Newell. SE: Is open-source hardware more secure, or does it just open up vulnera... » read more

Are Devices Getting More Secure?


Adding security into chip design is becoming more prevalent as more devices are connected to the Internet, but it's not clear whether that is enough to offset an explosion in connected "things." Security concerns have been growing for the past half-decade, starting with a rash of high-profile attacks on retail establishments, hotel membership clubs, and Equifax, one of the three top credit-c... » read more

Finding Security Holes In Hardware


At least three major security holes in processors were identified by Google's Project Zero over the past year, with more expected to roll out in coming months. Now the question is what to do about them. Since the beginning of the PC era, two requirements for hardware were backward compatibility and improvements in performance with each new version of processors. No one wants to replace their... » read more

Hardware Security Threat Rising


Martin Scott, senior vice president and CTO of Rambus, sat down with Semiconductor Engineering to talk about an increasing problem with security, what's driving it, and why hardware is now part of the growing attack surface. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: With Meltdown and Spectre, the stakes have changed because the focus is not on using hardware to get to software. It'... » read more

Safety, Security And PPA Tradeoffs


Safety and security are emerging as key design tradeoffs as chips are added into safety-critical markets, adding even more complexity into an already complicated optimization process. In the early days of semiconductor design, performance and area were traded off against each other. Then power became important, and the main tradeoffs became power, performance and area (PPA). But as chips inc... » read more

Security Holes In Machine Learning And AI


Machine learning and AI developers are starting to examine the integrity of training data, which in some cases will be used to train millions or even billions of devices. But this is the beginning of what will become a mammoth effort, because today no one is quite sure how that training data can be corrupted, or what to do about it if it is corrupted. Machine learning, deep learning and arti... » read more

CEO Outlook On Chip Industry (Part 3)


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Wally Rhines, president and CEO of Mentor, a Siemens Business; Simon Segars, CEO of Arm; Grant Pierce, CEO of Sonics; and Dean Drako, CEO of IC Manage. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To view part one, click here. Part two is here. L-R: Dean Drako, Grant Pierce, Wally Rhines, Simon Segars. Photo: Paul Cohen/ESD Alliance SE: Securit... » read more

Right-Sized Security


Security is a key design consideration of any connected product. Nefarious parties can and will attempt to exploit security flaws in order to capture sensitive data, gain device control, or for a myriad of other reasons. When considering security needs and implementation in their systems, Device OEMs must balance a number of factors. Security is obviously a very important factor; however, de... » read more

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