SAN FRANCISCO & MOUNTAIN VIEW, USA: Cryptography Research Inc. and Actel Corp. have announced an agreement regarding the use of Cryptography Research patents to enhance the security of Actel’s products against Differential Power Analysis (DPA) and other side-channel related attacks.
The agreement allows Actel to use DPA countermeasures to protect bitstream loading on Actel field programmable gate array semiconductors (FPGAs), enabling Actel’s customers to protect their intellectual property and cryptographic keys from adversaries using power analysis and related attacks.
In addition, the license also provides an option for Actel customers to implement their own or licensed third party DPA countermeasures on certain Actel products without requiring the customer to obtain a separate license from Cryptography Research.
“As more fielded systems involve sensitive cryptographic keys and intellectual property, protection from power analysis attacks becomes critically important for FPGA users concerned about security,” said Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Actel. “Actel is already recognized as a leader in secure FPGAs, and this agreement illustrates our continued proactive commitment to providing our customers with the highest level of security capabilities.”
DPA is a form of attack that involves monitoring variations in the electrical power consumption of a target device, then using advanced statistical methods to determine cryptographic keys. Countermeasures to DPA are used to protect tamper-resistant chips utilized in applications such as government, banking, defense, pay television, mass transit, secure ID, product authentication, smart electricity grids, trusted platform modules, and wired and wireless communication.
“We are excited that Actel is the first major FPGA vendor to license our DPA countermeasure technology,” said Pankaj Rohatgi, technical director, hardware security solutions at Cryptography Research. “We are pleased to provide Actel and its customers with the license and technology rights needed to meet government and industry requirements for power analysis countermeasures.”
Cryptography Research has been awarded a portfolio of more than 50 patents covering countermeasures to DPA attacks, with additional patent applications pending.
Actel plans to bolster existing and future FPGA families, including the industry leading IGLOO, ProASIC3, SmartFusion and Fusion families, with DPA countermeasure licensed offerings.