Imagination adds security functions to cores for IoT

June 19, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
IP provider Imagination Technologies (Kings Langley, UK) and silicon-level security specialist Intrinsic-ID (Eindhoven, Netherlands) are collaborating to bring security to products that use Imagination’s IP technologies, starting with availability of Intrinsic-ID’s Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) security and authentication technology for Imagination’s MIPS M-class M5150 CPU that targets low-power applications such as M2M, IoT, and embedded control.

Intrinsic-ID’s PUF technology allows efficient implementation of security functions such as device authentication and anti-cloning. Imagination’s OmniShield multi-domain security technology, which takes advantage of hardware virtualization technology built into its latest IP offerings, enables the creation of multiple secure domains on an SoC.

Products that implement this technology can run multiple, unmodified, isolated applications and operating systems independently and securely at the same time on a single, trusted platform. OmniShield-ready MIPS M5150 CPUs, the company asserts, are the only MCU-class CPU IP cores built with hardware virtualization technology.

Intrinsic-ID’s PUF technology, called Hardware Intrinsic Security (HIS), extracts security keys and unique identifiers from the innate physical characteristics of semiconductors – a unique ‘signature’ for every individual die. The device-unique physical structure or ‘silicon fingerprint’ can be obtained from standard SRAM circuits, already present in virtually all processor designs. With HIS, no keys need to be programmed or stored in the system and no keys are present when the device is off, which provides a high level of protection against hardware attacks.

A system with multiple domains enabled by Imagination’s OmniShield-ready MIPS CPUs, allows for the HIS key extraction and management functions to be implemented securely in software.

Imagination Technologies;