Industries such as financial, military & aerospace, and communications, along with many others that maintain critical infrastructure, are increasingly concerned with the security of their computer systems. Of growing concern is the threat that systems containing foreign-made components, in some cases of an unknown origin, are vulnerable to tampering. According to the Defense Science Board Task Force report on High Performance Microchip Supply released in February 2005, recent shifts in the electronics supply structure open such components to the insertion of “Trojan horses” and other unauthorized design inclusions. These backdoor features could be used to disrupt operations or obtain confidential and proprietary information. Other areas of concern include loss of intellectual property through reverse engineering and interruption of the supply chain to critical applications. Recently, a group led by a Princeton University computer security researcher demonstrated a simple method of stealing encrypted information. As reported by The New York Times, February 22, 2008, the group used a can of air to freeze the memory chips and special pattern-recognition software to identify security keys. Their technique compromises industry standards such as “Trusted Computing” hardware as well as utilities contained in the most popular operating systems.
In addition to integral security features, the highly integrated SoC is not susceptible to the Princeton type attacks. The device contains dual high performance PowerPC® 440 and FPU cores, embedded DRAM, and utility compute engines to accelerate computation of complex algorithms, communications, and synchronization between processors. This integration enables designers to build systems with significantly fewer components resulting in increased reliability and decreased power, cost and area. Its low power consumption makes the CPU872 the most efficient high performance PowerPC offering in the industry.
“Our customers and partners are involved in high value critical computing applications and have serious security concerns about the source, content, design knowledge, and management of critical computing resources such as processors, FPGAs, memory devices, and integrated systems. Ubiquitous high value computing infrastructure such as financial, transportation, military, process control and other embedded systems have become the targets of equally sophisticated and well financed criminal, subversive, and clandestine threats. As the flow of design knowledge has spread around the world, the ability and the willingness to insert a variety of trap doors, time dependent hidden features, Trojan horses and other such hard-to-detect schemes directly into silicon has become equally widespread,” said Ed King, CEO and Founder of CPU Tech. He continued, “The Acalis CPU872 is a fully trusted design from a tightly controlled trusted process that is directly integrated into the Trusted Foundry at IBM.”
“The anti-tamper, anti-reverse engineering and firewall capabilities contained in the CPU872 SoC will help enable the DoD to preserve its investment in critical technologies,” said Charles Caposell, U.S. Navy Program Manager. “The combination of security and high performance in a standard Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) device will be of immense value to the DoD and other security-minded organizations.”
The CPU872 is an industrial grade device with a minimum ten year life span. Samples are available to qualified organizations. For more information, please contact Gail Walters at (703) 251-2566 or (925) 224-9920, or Richard Kessinger at (703) 251-2568.
About CPU Technology, Inc.
CPU Tech leads the industry in large scale electronic modeling and simulation. CPU Tech’s Compatible System-on-a-Chip (SoC) solutions include the company’s real time, high fidelity platform simulator, SystemLab PS™, and the Acalis® family of Field Programmable MultiCore Chips (FPMCs). CPU Tech is a privately held company founded in 1989 with headquarters in Pleasanton, CA, and a regional office in Reston, VA. Visit www.cputech.com for additional information.
About TAPO and the IBM Trusted Foundry
The Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO) was established to provide a
path for the DoD and the Intelligence Community to have guaranteed
access to trusted microelectronics technologies for their critical
system needs now and into the future. TAPO established a contractual
relationship with IBM in 2004 to produce leading edge microelectronics
parts in a trusted environment. IBM Systems Technology Group offers a
comprehensive suite of trusted technology manufacturing and technology
services. Foundry options include digital CMOS offerings ranging from
250nm to 65nm, analog and mixed signal/SiGe BiCMOS offerings ranging
from 350nm to 130nm, while providing services ranging from basic foundry
manufacturing to end-to-end solutions. For more information on TAPO and
the IBM trusted foundry, see