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Industry Leaders Unite to Advance The Adoption of New Hardware Security Solutions

The Hardware Intrinsic Security (HIS) Initiative Aims to Make Counterfeiting a Thing of the Past

LONDON – May 18, 2010 – A group of industry leaders throughout the electronics industry today announced the launch of the Hardware Intrinsic Security (HIS) Initiative—an educational forum dedicated to reduce barriers and advance the adoption of HIS solutions. A new approach is needed to combat counterfeiting, which is a growing problem driving down the average selling price (ASP) of genuine products and accounting for approximately 10 percent of electronics sales today. The HIS approach provides greater security at a lower cost per chip by enabling secure key storage without storing the key. By leveraging the expertise of its members, the HIS Initiative is developing an educational agenda with supporting deliverables aimed at reducing barriers to adoption of HIS solutions.

To effectively advance HIS technology adoption, the Initiative members represent a full spectrum of the ecosystem, from systems to semiconductor, fabless, foundry, and intellectual property (IP) providers. With Intrinsic-ID serving as the managing sponsor, the HIS Initiative members are comprised of advisors from the following leading companies: Cisco Systems, Imec, Intrinsic-ID, Irdeto, NXP Semiconductors, SiVenture, TSMC and Virage Logic Corporation.

Industry Need for New Hardware Security

The security and authenticity of electronic devices is fundamental to electronics companies to assure that assets of companies and end-users are protected. Counterfeiting is a growing issue that, among others, reduces market size and damages brand reputation. HIS technology provides a new level of hardware security utilizing the inherent uniqueness in each and every silicon chip. This approach allows a device to generate a secret key only when needed and power down with no key present. Because no key is stored, attackers have nothing to find.

“The launch of the HIS Initiative reinforces the high degree of importance our industry places on security and authentication,” stated Intrinsic-ID Chief Executive Officer Daniël Schobben. “The HIS Initiative aligns thought leaders to reduce the barriers to HIS technology adoption by facilitating industry work and the development of proof points. We welcome their contributions as we work together to make counterfeiting a thing of the past.”

Vice President of Research for Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) Lisa Tafoya stated, “GSA is seeing a significant amount of interest in the various types of security solutions, but there is a decided lack of information and educational awareness about hardware security for chip designers. The GSA has been working to help fill that gap and we welcome the Initiative’s contributions to this effort.”

Intrinsic-ID has successfully completed a proof point validation of a Virage Logic 90-nm SRAM for use in a HIS solution. Brani Buric, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Virage Logic, noted, “As an integral part of the SoC design ecosystem and member of the Initiative, we recognize the value of HIS solutions and are committed to working to remove the barriers for adoption. With the ability to collaborate with other Initiative members, we look forward to helping enable the adoption of HIS solutions throughout the industry.”

Educational materials about the proof point project are available Representatives of the HIS Initiative will be available in the exhibitor area at the GSA & IET International Semiconductor Forum on May 18 and 19, 2010, in London, England.

About The HIS Initiative

The HIS Initiative provides a forum for educational activities regarding a new hardware security approach, known as hardware intrinsic security (HIS). HIS technology provides a new level of hardware security utilizing the inherent uniqueness in each and every silicon chip. The goals of the Initiative are to validate the HIS approach by industry leaders, increase the education available, and reduce the barriers to adoption of HIS solutions. Members, which span the semiconductor ecosystem, include: Cisco Systems, imec, Intrinsic-ID, Irdeto, NXP, SiVenture, TSMC and Virage Logic. To find out more, please visit

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