FPGAs meet NSA guidelines

August 15, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
In recent announcements, Microsemi has been building on the secure-operation aspects of two of its programmable-device families; now it adds further weight to that effort with an announcement based on National Security Administration (NSA) guidelines for specific operations.

Microsemi says that this announcement, “ further validates Microsemi FPGA security capabilities [and] simplifies information sssurance system design.”

The company's SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA and IGLOO2 FPGA product families are the first FPGAs to successfully complete the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) Secure Implementation Guidelines (SIG) document.

The NSA IAD set out this process to provide an overview of design and data security features that are most relevant to a set of information assurance (IA) systems use models, and includes guidelines for security policies based on appropriate user scenarios. With clear implementation guidelines for using SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 FPGA devices, defence system designers are better able to address and mitigate security threats in secure communications and cyber security applications.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has positioned SIGs as a key element in the Trusted Systems and Networks (TSN) strategy. SIG for FPGAs is a new process that the NSA IAD is deploying based on system architect and program management demand from secure communications and cyber security defence contractors.

Completion of the IAD SIG is part of Microsemi’s strategy to deliver the highest security solutions available today. This is an important validation of Microsemi’s FPGA solutions used by defence system designers; “It is a significant FPGA industry achievement that Microsemi is the first to complete the IAD Secure Implementation Guideline,” said Esam Elashmawi, Microsemi vice president and general manager, SoC Product Group. “The IAD SIG instills trust in our defence systems customers by validating our leading information assurance and anti-tamper security capabilities. It also reduces implementation risk as well as total cost of ownership when utilising the embedded security features available only in Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 FPGAs.”

Microsemi’s root-of-trust FPGA solutions are positioned for the growing needs of not only defence applications, but for communications and industrial applications which require a high standard for security and reliability. Microsemi claims to be the only vendor in the PLD