Altera users can add secure device IDs with Intrinsic-ID PUF licence

October 12, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Altera and Intrinsic-ID have co-operated to develop the, “world’s most secure high-end FPGA”. The collaboration will, the two companies say, bring high-level security to FPGA configuration processes and device authentication capabilities for military and commercial applications.

Intrinsic-ID is a security-oriented company, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands and originally a spin-out from Philips. The company provides technology for Physically Unclonable Functions (“PUFs”). The principle is based on minute process variations when integrated devices are fabricated. An identical structure – a memory array, say – will function identically in a logic sense, in every device manufactured, but will have very small parametric variations from device to device. Intrinsic-ID offers technology to measure these parameters and to generate a unique id (that is stable and repeatable over the life of the part) for every individual device manufactured. This can be the basis of securely identifying individual parts, and of (for example) generating keys.

Altera and Intrinsic-ID have announced a collaboration on the integration of the security solutions into Altera’s Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs. PUF-based key storage can satisfy defence and infrastructure application requirements to secure and bind software to hardware functions and prevent the cloning of systems. The integration of Intrinsic-ID’s PUF technology within Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs greatly enhance the security capabilities of the devices, say the companies; they have not confirmed what aspect of the Altera device fabric is characterised to derive the PUF, but part of the FPGA’s SRAM array would seem likely.

The partnership between Altera and Intrinsic-ID enables users of Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs to license Intrinsic-ID’s PUF technology for a variety of security use cases in their designs. Customer and user support will be enabled by Intrinsic-ID and (for US-based users) support partner EndoSec .

Intrinsic-ID’s PUF security solution adds strong anti-tamper protection to Stratix 10 FPGA-based systems... binding hardware functions and software to a PUF provides a very strong device authentication method and protection against cloning, the companies assert. The inclusion of PUF technology and the use of a Secure Device Manager (SDM) for security management, suit Stratix 10 FPGAs and SoCs for use in military, cloud security and IoT