Collaboration delivers FIPS-compliant secure processor IC

October 09, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
The Kili 3.1 dual eSi-3250-based processor with 1MB of embedded Flash, USB and NFC connectivity meets FIPS 140-2 Level 3 requirements and targets secure payment, authentication and identity applications

EnSilica, provider of IC design services, system solutions and IP, has collaborated with Kili Technology Corporation of Canada on the development of the Kili 3.1 FIPS 140-2 Level 3 (Federal Information Processing Standard) compliant secure processor IC. The Kili 3.1 secure processor IC is designed to meet the stringent requirements of payment, authentication and identity applications.

The Kili 3.1 secure processor IC uses EnSilica’s high-performance, low-power 32-bit eSi-3250 soft processor core with cryptographic acceleration instructions in Kili’s patented, dual processor architecture that splits secure functionality between the processors. In addition to supplying the eSi-3250 processors complete with 1MB of embedded Flash, standard interconnect and key peripherals required for the application such as USB, I 2C, UART, SPI, Smart Card reader, SWP and TRNG, EnSilica incorporated an additional APB peripheral bus to enable the connection of Kili’s own silicon-proven, easily portable security IP including NFC radio and controller.

Kili 3.1 enables the implementation of the principal cryptography protocols, including RSA, AES and DES, outside the host environment, such as a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It features advanced security functions including mesh sensor; active shield protection; voltage, temperature clock and physical tamper detection; and protected battery backup of key memory with auto erase as well as encryption acceleration and EMV L1/L2 firmware for both contact and contactless applications. Software stacks for capacitive touch and Bluetooth LE are also available, greatly reducing the time to market.

Drawing on the IP portfolios of both companies, the joint development has been underpinned by EnSilica’s design services. “The development of the Kili 3.1 secure processor IC is an example of how a highly focused fabless semiconductor company can collaborate with us to help bring their ideas to silicon,” said Ian Lankshear, CEO of EnSilica. “As the Internet of Things starts to broaden and really take off, the Kili 3.1 secure processor IC provides a much needed, highly-integrated solution that delivers excellent security and connectivity