Intrinsic-ID extends SRAM PUF security

February 14, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Embedded security company Intrinsic-ID BV (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has made two software additions, known as Broadkey and Citadel, to its SRAM physically unclonable function (PUF) technology.

Broadkey is a software product based on SRAM PUF which can be used to create and manage keys. Broadkey runs on a microcontroller or microprocessor core but does not require specific SRAM set aside in the silicon design to act as the PUF.  This means that Broadkey does not have to be loaded at silicon production time but can be installed later in the supply chain or even retrofitted on deployed devices extending Intrinsic-ID's market to OEMs and service providers.

Citadel utilizes the SRAM PUF technology to generate root keys internally from silicon, minimizing the liabilities in the supply chain. Any sensitive material on the chip can be protected with public keys derived from the invisible SRAM PUF root key. Citadel comes with a package of additional hardware and software IP, manufacturing tools and OEM management tools for things such as service logins.

Intrinsic-ID's unclonable function is based on the cross-coupled bistability of a line of SRAM cells that will power up as either a 1 or a 0. If steps are taken to remove any design influence then variations in the manufactured silicon create the inherent preferred power-up state and a line of such SRAM cells provides a multi-bit word that is repeatable but specific to the specific silicon implementation and hidden.

Intrinisic-ID has provided this SRAM PUF as Quiddikey semiconductor IP but with the advent of Broadkey this is now generalized to almost all software-programmable ICs without need for security-dedicated silicon. Broadkey comes in three grades – Light, Flex and Flex-E with Flex-E offering the option of additional asymmetric encryption.

"With Broadkey it is even possible to deliver authentication and encryption solutions to devices in the field through firmware updates," said Pim Tuyls, CEO of Intrinsic ID.

Related links and articles:

www.intrinsic-id.com

Intrinsic-ID: SRAM PUF: the secure silicon fingerprint

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