Microsemi to use Rambus Cryptography IP in FPGAs

30 January 2015

Technology licensor Rambus Inc. has formed an agreement with Microsemi Corp. where the chipmaker will serve as a reseller for certain differential power analysis (DPA) technologies to the government and military sectors.

Developed by Rambus’ Cryptography Research division, the DPA intellectual property (IP) that will be licensed include the DPA WorkStation and DPA Resistant AES cryptographic cores targeted at side-channel attack vulnerabilities. The deal also allows Microsemi to conduct training classes on the technologies in regard to security and side-channel attacks.

Rambus said Microsemi is the first field programmable gate array (FPGA) vendor to license DPA countermeasures. Greg Ellis, vice president and product line manager at Microsemi, said in a statement that the threat of side-channel attacks is "very real in the military and government space" and offering secure IP products and training affords Microsemi "substantial security differentiation" for the rigorous security requirements of the government and military sectors.

Microsemi said it will use the DPA IP to complement its line of SmartFusion system-on-chip FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA programmable devices that feature secure hardware, design security and data security. The Rambus IP also expands Microsemi’s existing portfolio of cryptography, anti-tamper and anti-reverse engineering IP products including its WhiteboxCRYPTO, CodeSEAL and EnforcIT.

Paul Kocher, president and chief scientist of the Rambus Cryptography Research division, said in the same statement that as more and more embedded systems contain "high value and sensitive information, the threat of side-channel attacks will continue" and DPA-resistant solutions will become imperative to government and military customers.

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