Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Taiwanese companies join force to tackle IC security in IoT

Steve Rogerson
April 2, 2015
Two Taiwanese companies have joined forces to provide IC security for IoT applications. EMemory Technology, a logic non-volatile memory and silicon intellectual property (IP) provider, has partnered with Andes Technology, the first developer of original 32bit microprocessor IP and system IC design in Asia.
The rapid development of the IoT provides advanced interconnection between various devices and systems. As consumers place greater concern on data security and protection mechanism, the demands for related IC security increase simultaneously.
The Andes Core S801 secure 32bit processor elevates the safety of data transfer and storage in embedded applications. Applying this in system-on-chip (SoC) designs along with EMemory's one-time programmable (OTP) silicon IPs for security key storage in IoT products, the data security can be enhanced at little cost. Therefore, the security MCU products find a balance between information security and product cost, which can benefit customers to exploit the business opportunities offered by IoT.
To take the lead in the IoT market, the data security of IC hardware and firmware is crucial. Targeting the market potential, Andes launched the Core S8 products, which include compact three-stage pipeline and a protected command set for diverse password and anti-tampering applications. Apart from protocols for access control, the S801 also has an energy-saving core and a secure memory protection unit, providing hardware protection for programme codes and data to prevent side-channel attacks.
The S801 conforms to the latest SoC designs. It can facilitate product development and certification approval processes, as well as reduce time to market, making it suitable for secure products that emphasise lightweight, compact size and low-power consumption designs. It can be applied in various applications to provide security mechanism and added value, such as NFC, smart cards, bank cards, health cards, e-passports, smart meters, sensor hubs, smart locks, smart home and wearables.
Unlike conventional ICs with metal-fuse or poly-fuse based architectures, EMemory's Logic NVM IP uses floating-gate and anti-fuse structures to prevent reverse-engineering, protecting data from detection and interpolation to enhance information security. The security level of the company’s NeoFuse silicon IP has been recognised by the Conditional Access (CA) certification. Moreover, Its OTP silicon IP has +125ËšC and ten-year industry-grade data retention ability, which is suitable for products with strict operational conditions and performance demands.
The NVM IP is compatible with generic CMOS processes without additional mask layers. It has been deployed in 0.5µm to 16nm process platforms at worldwide foundries, providing not only a range of platform choices for product planning and validation, but also flexibility of production capacity to increase manufacturing competitiveness.
The alliance of Andes and EMemory aims to provide competitive advantages to exploit opportunities in the growing IoT market, and further expand application ranges into mobile payments, smart home, automotive electronics and cloud data centres.