Our friends at SiFive have been hosting a worldwide series of technical seminars, and Rambus has joined them for a number of these to present our CryptoManager Root of Trust secure co-processor. We highlight how our Root of Trust forms the anchor of hardware-based security, and specifically how we enable multiple roots of trust.
A bit on multiple roots of trust; simplified, multiple roots of trust refers having the ability for a master root (typically a chip maker or the device OEM) to assign specific, independent security permissions to applications (sub roots) running within the secure boundary of our secure co-processor. Having this ability differentiates us from other security solutions – other competing solutions offer a secure area, but all apps in that secure area are given the same level of trust and permissions. This is risky – what if one of those apps has been compromised? The CryptoManager Root of Trust eliminates this risk; all apps within the secure area are assigned a very limited, specific set of unique permissions that only allow it to perform and access designated processes. Any attempt to reach beyond those permissions is met with anything from immediate notifications to the master root, all the way to a complete shut down of the device.
At the SiFive seminars, we demonstrate our ability to support multiple roots of trust through mimicking a smart home deployment. In the demo, we show a Smart Hub OEM as the master root, with 2 sub-roots. The first sub root enables a lighting app to control lights embedded within the demo, and the second enabling a HVAC app to control an attached fan. The demonstration allows attendees shows how permissions are granted and allows them to interact with the root of trust thru turning on and off functions within both master and sub roots. Included in this is the ability to attempt to violate sub root permissions (spoiler alert…can’t be done).
Most recently, we’ve presented at the May 23rd Munich, Germany and June 11th Tokyo, Japan events, where our local sales and engineering staff hosted a talk and demonstration to well over 90 attendees. Coming up soon, we’ll be continuing the tour with stops in South Korea, China, and finishing just down the road in Palo Alto. If you’re interested in hearing more about how RISC-V can benefit your designs, and specifically how the CryptoManager Root of Trust can enable true hardware based security in your designs, please register for a seminar near you today.