Independent tests validate FPGA security claims, says Microsemi

August 20, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
An assessment by Rambus Cryptography Research – an accredited independent test lab – validates the design security of Microsemi’s FPGAs, according to the company, stating that SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 devices are the only FPGAs to achieve DPA Logo Certification.

Microsemi’s announcement is that SmartFusion2 system-on-chip (SoC) field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and IGLOO2 FPGAs have passed certification for resistance to differential power analysis (DPA) in the DPA Countermeasure Validation Program developed by Rambus Cryptography Research Division. This allows Microsemi to use the prestigious Cryptography Research trademarked “DPA Lock” security logo under license from the organisation in connection with these products. Certification was achieved after a thorough assessment by Riscure, a Cryptography Research-accredited third-party independent test lab, of design security algorithms and protocols used by both Microsemi FPGA product families.

The designation certifies Microsemi’s SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 FPGAs have correctly implemented effective DPA countermeasures meeting worldwide standards, making these the only FPGAs in the industry with licensed and certified DPA countermeasures. This certificate, for DPA resistance and related external monitoring attacks for seven key design security protocols, is applicable to all existing SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 devices, and is in addition to nine certificates previously granted under the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cryptographic Algorithm Verification Program (CAVP) for these product families.

“Achieving the DPA Logo certification from Cryptography Research helps solidify our position as the FPGA security leader. In addition, it validates our licensed DPA countermeasures are exceptionally effective against DPA and differential electromagnetic analysis (DEMA), surpassing our competitors in this unique, growing market for Microsemi,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president and business unit manager at Microsemi. “Our customers now have assurance from an accredited independent third party that their design security will not be compromised by DPA or DEMA. This not only protects their design IP, but also is important in protecting their customers’ data.”

DPA is a technique hackers use to extract secrets such as cryptographic keys from an electronic device by externally monitoring the instantaneous power consumed by the device while it is operating. The evaluation lab made an assessment of the DPA resistance of seven primary security protocols and services implemented in these