Secure boot and multi-layer encryption on DSPs and DSP + ARM processors

June 15, 2011 // By Julien Happich
Texas Instruments is offering its customers added protection against unauthorized reading of intellectual property (IP) and sensitive data in its TMS320C6748 digital signal processors (DSPs) and OMAP-L138 DSP + ARM processors. These processors are part of the TI's C6000 DSP and C6-Integra DSP + ARM product platforms.

Secure boot capability prevents external entities from modifying customer-developed algorithms to stop unauthorized users from misusing the customer's system and its operation by preventing insertion of malware, reverse engineering and system cloning. Multi-layer encryption offers the ability to upgrade boot and application software code remotely on flash memory while allowing the boot sequence to remain secure. Multi-layer encryption is enabled when a device-specific cipher key, known only to the device, is used to protect customer encryption keys.

When an update is needed, the customer creates a new encrypted image using its encryption keys. Then the device can acquire the image wirelessly and overwrite the existing code.Examples of applications that would benefit from the secure boot and secure field upgrade feature include medical patient monitors that utilize proprietary, certified algorithms and software-defined radios (SDRs) to ensure communication isn't compromised if the radios fall into the wrong hands. The secure boot, multi-level encrypted C6748 DSPs and OMAP-L138 DSP + ARM processors are sampling today at 375MHz and 456MHz with industrial temperature ranges available.

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