Microsemi targets security sector with Rambus cryptography tech

This entry was posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2015.

Rambus’s Cryptography Research Division (CRD) has entered into a partnership with Microsemi to resell a number of advanced security technologies developed by the DPA product engineering team at CRD.

According to Michael Mehlberg, Senior Director of Business Development for Government Solutions at Rambus CRD, a recently signed reseller agreement includes both the DPA WorkStation™ and DPA Resistant Suite B cryptographic cores.

“Microsemi can now bring invaluable DPA-resistant security tools and products to government and military sectors,” Mehlberg explained a recent interview with Rambus Press.


“The agreement also enables Microsemi to provide security evaluation services, helping customers evaluate their systems’ vulnerabilities to DPA and related side-channel attacks.”

As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, DPA attacks employ sophisticated statistical techniques to extract secret key information from multiple power-consumption measurements. In fact, DPA is capable of lifting secret keys in a noisy environment – even when the power sipping of the cryptographic computation comprises a small fraction of a system’s overall power draw.

It should be noted that Microsemi, which has identified DPA as a significant vulnerability in chip security, was the very first major FPGA manufacturer to license appropriate countermeasures.

“The threat of side-channel attacks, particularly DPA, is very real in the military and government space,” Greg Ellis, VP and product line manager at Microsemi, said in a recent press release.

As Mehlberg emphasizes, warfighters in the field and operators of critical government infrastructure cannot afford to have their equipment compromised by physical vulnerabilities that quietly leak sensitive information.

“It is most effective to thwart various side-channel attacks by starting with the core itself – ensuring that the processing components themselves are immune to hostile eavesdropping from the moment they roll off the production line,” he added. “Properly securing critical government and military systems from the threats of tampering, reverse engineering and cryptanalysis requires that security be designed into the equipment itself. And while no single countermeasure can effectively secure a system against all threats, a layered approach that includes resistance against DPA attacks should be integrated into important electronic systems.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out our official DPA resistant AES core here and browse our DPA countermeasures portfolio here.