Summer 2021 Newsletter
I believe this is already the sixth quarterly newsletter from Intrinsic ID that is reaching you from our home offices. Although the impact of the pandemic is handled differently in different parts of the world, most of us at Intrinsic ID are still working from home. We are currently looking into the possibilities to open some of our offices up again, but we want to make sure that we do this in a way that is sensible and safe. So we have to take our time with this process, but we are happy with every (small) step forward we can take.
In the meantime we are still seeing increasing traction from customers who are creating chips ranging from microcontrollers to FPGAs and in markets like data centers, automotive, and gaming. This traction comes from increasing awareness — in both the semiconductor industry as well as on a governmental level — for the need for strong security solutions. The days are behind us when connected devices were sent into the field without proper security. The new attitude towards this need for security is clearly driven by the large semiconductor companies, many of whom are Intrinsic ID customers. But companies that are failing to follow this trend will soon be forced to fall in line, because recent cyber attacks, like the Colonial Pipeline Hack, have also created awareness on a governmental level. Increasingly, legislation for (IoT) security is being imposed by governments around the world. We believe this a great step in the right direction and we look forward to a more secure future!
For now, we hope to be able to meet you all again soon in a more personal setting. But until then, please enjoy this newsletter to read up on some of these latest developments at Intrinsic ID.
Stay safe and stay healthy!
Pim Tuyls – CEO, Intrinsic ID
Intrinsic ID Partners with DARPA to Provide Streamlined Access to Industry-Leading PUF Technology
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has decided to add Intrinsic ID to the list of suppliers for the DARPA Toolbox Initiative to make its industry-leading digital authentication and security technology accessible to DARPA researchers. The Intrinsic ID QuiddiKey® hardware IP and Apollo™ FPGA IP will be available through the DARPA Toolbox, which provides DARPA researchers open licensing opportunities with commercial technology vendors.
“We are happy to have Intrinsic ID in this program, which will enable our researchers to have streamlined access to critical security IP that has been proven in other Military, Aerospace and Government applications for a strong root of trust and authentication,” said Serge Leef, Program Manager, DARPA Microsystems Technology Office.
QuiddiKey Hardware IP is now CAVP Certified by NIST
The Intrinsic ID hardware IP product QuiddiKey has been certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The certification of QuiddiKey version 3.8.0 has been performed under NIST’s Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) and assures that cryptographic components of the product have been tested and operate as they should under NIST’s guidelines.
“Passing the NIST CAVP certification is another important step in Intrinsic ID’s ongoing efforts towards improved standardization for security IP in general and Intrinsic ID’s products in particular,” said Pim Tuyls, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intrinsic ID. “We believe that the only way to keep devices and networks secure is to encourage more collaborative standardization. NIST’s CAVP is one of the programs that is taking a leading role in this process, and we are happy to join this initiative, along with the many other certifications that we have already obtained for our products.”
Securing FPGA based Defense Electronics with Invisible Keys
Last June Intel, EndoSec, and Intrinsic ID hosted a webinar powered by Military Embedded Systems. In this webinar the partners explained how traditional hardware security methods are easily circumvented, making it easier to clone and insert counterfeit devices in the supply chain, resulting in theft of assets containing sensitive IP.
Discover how the Intel Secure Device Manager and Intrinsic ID PUF combined with EndoSec’s anti-tamper expertise and IP protect Intel’s Stratix 10 and Agilex FPGA platforms across the supply chain by watching this webinar on-demand here.
Using QuiddiKey Interrupts
To support customers who are getting familiar with its products, Intrinsic ID frequently publishes new Application Notes. An overview of these documents can be found here. In this newsletter we highlight the most recent one: “Using QuiddiKey Interrupts.”
This Application Note focuses on the use of QuiddiKey interrupt signals. It explains how to create a working implementation on a Xilinx Zynq XC7Z020 FPGA, which can serve as a blueprint for crafting a similar implementation on an ASIC. The benefit of using QuiddiKey interrupts is that time-critical tasks can be executed while QuiddiKey is running in parallel.
IoT Security, Technology Scaling, and Quantum Threats
“Most executives we talk to about internet of things security emphasize similar points: the need for a strong root of trust, proper authentication mechanisms, and resilience. However, there are many different ways of enabling the various aspects of this security. One company focused on physical unclonable function (PUF) based security intellectual property is Intrinsic ID.”
EETimes caught up with CEO and a founder of Intrinsic ID, Pim Tuyls, to understand more about the world of PUF security, the challenges for IoT security as technology scales, and how to deal with the potential impact of other threats including quantum computing.
Biden’s Plan for Strengthening US Cybersecurity is Too Soft
Having mixed feelings about the recenct US Executive Order on Cybersecurity, our CEO Pim Tuyls sent in an open letter to HelpNet Security to express what worries him about this new legislation.
“Without doubt, software is an obvious and viable vulnerability that bad actors can take advantage of, but most security experts agree that strong security cannot exist without ensuring the complete system is secure. The government plan is conspicuously silent on that aspect of the cybersecurity threat, which is particularly ironic given the emphasis recently on investing more in American hardware (semiconductor) initiatives.”
More and More Episodes Available on Online Platform
Since getting started in early 2021, a growing audience is finding its way to PUF Cafe, the global platform for PUF technology. One of its most important features are the monthly PUF Cafe Episodes, where different experts shine a light on specific aspects related to PUF technology. All aired PUF Cafe Episodes can be found in the archive on the website.
Episode 4 was first aired on June 2 and featured Pieter Willems from Silex Insight, who gave a presentation on the use of PUFs in an embedded security framework. Go to the registration page of PUF Cafe now, sign up for free, and head over to the archive to watch Pieter’s presentation along with all other PUF Cafe Episodes!
What Are the Quantum Computing Threats to Security?
The most recent PUF Cafe Episode deals with something we are all somewhat familiar with. This is because there are very few words that are used more in tech publications right now than the word “quantum.” There are also very few words in the English language that are more difficult to understand and that can have as many different purposes. How do quantum mechanics relate to quantum effects or quantum computers? What is quantum computing, when is it available, and should we fear it?
In this panel discussion Pim Tuyls and Roel Maes create a structure to better understand the different usages of the word quantum and show which of them relate to PUFs. Additionally, they discuss the future threats to security posed by quantum computing and which algorithms would be affected by it. You can also read the blogs that have been written about this webinar on Embedded Computing Design and Semiwiki.com.