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IoT Security: Driving Value of Connected Chips

Vincent van der Leest — Director Business Development, Intrinsic ID |
Pieter Willems – Sales and Marketing Manager Security Products, Silex Insight |


Like any company, chip manufacturers want to create as much value as possible for their customers, often by integrating more functionality into their silicon products, so they can command higher prices and deliver greater margins. Adding security to the functionality of a chip is an important way for a chip manufacturer to increase the value of their products. Especially in the Internet of Things (IoT) market, where device makers want to keep their costs low, a chip becomes more valuable if it can take care of security for the IoT device without adding additional components. Security for IoT products is rapidly becoming IoT device makers’ biggest concern:

Adding strong security solutions is a driver for increasing market share of a chip manufacturer. With the ever-growing number of devices connected to the IoT, the need for strong, cost-sensitive security solutions for these devices is now greater than ever.

The Challenges of Adding Security

However, for developing products connected to the IoT, or designing the microprocessors that drive such products, including security can be a challenge. As IoT device manufacturers often lack security expertise, they look to their chip providers to take care of security for them. This is in fact the right place to start, because a strong security architecture starts at chip level — this is where the most fundamental assets of a device need to be protected. These assets are the cryptographic keys that are needed to protect data and authenticate devices to the network and each other. These keys are at the heart of any security architecture and need to be protected from attackers to ensure device security.

But generating, provisioning, and securely storing keys on chips, while shielding them away from other processes on an IoT device — which could be malicious — is not a trivial task for chip manufacturers.

A Security Enclave

To address this vacuum, Intrinsic ID and Silex Insight have joined forces to deliver a solution that enables inclusion of hardware-based key storage, key provisioning and cryptographic operations within a security enclave – even for IoT chip vendors for whom security is not a core competency. Together we have developed a key management module that can be added in hardware to any IoT chip for provisioning and securely storing cryptographic keys.

The module combines Intrinsic ID’s patented SRAM PUF technology for key generation and military-grade secure storage with Silex Insight’s hardware security engine with high-performance accelerators for symmetric and asymmetric cryptography. This security enclave from Silex Insight is highly configurable with unrivalled performance at a low gate count and low power consumption. With this combined solution, any IoT chip manufacturer can provide a security architecture that ensures their customers have the strongest possible foundation to create the secure devices that the IoT so desperately requires.

Curious about how we do this? See our webinar How to Easily Implement Security in Your IoT Product for more on how our joint offering can streamline the addition of security on the chips that enable IoT connectivity.


Vincent van der Leest is Director Business Development at Intrinsic ID, responsible for the company’s partner ecosystem in Europe. In his 9-year tenure at Intrinsic ID, Vincent’s roles within the organization have included responsibility for European-funded projects as well as for taping out an ASIC containing six different types of Physical Unclonable Functions. Vincent is author or co-author of a number of scientific papers on Intrinsic ID’s core technology, as well as several of the company’s patents. He holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and worked for ASML and Philips before joining Intrinsic ID.


Pieter Willems | Silex InsightPieter Willems holds a master degree in microelectronics. He started his career in the image sensor industry, and held several marketing and product management positions in the industry. As a strategic marketing and product manager, he conducted market analysis and product definitions for various companies, growing new products into multimillion-euro businesses. Since October 2016 he has taken up the role as the strategic sales and marketing manager for the security IP products at Silex Insight, a role in which he is responsible for transforming the embedded security IP business from a service-oriented strategy to a product-driven company. .

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