The new device gives manufacturers a unique way to add strong, FIPS-140-2 level III targeted security to existing electronics products quickly, easily and cost-effectively, preventing fraud, counterfeiting, cloning and theft. The first device that behaves as either a standard serial EEPROM or a secure element, the VaultIC 420i lets manufacturers use a single device to future-proof products, allowing them to maintain current functionality and then simply switch modes to use the device as a secure element when needed for particular markets or applications, without incurring any recertification or requalification costs.
The VaultIC 420i has the same package and pinout as a standard serial EEPROM and is fully compatible with the industry standard I2C interface bus used to communicate with these devices. This enables it to add security to all systems currently embedding an I2C serial EEPROM for application or configuration data storage without security, including smart energy meters, networking and medical equipment, femtocells, telehealth, gaming platforms and a variety of other applications. When in serial EEPROM mode, the operation of the VaultIC 420i is indistinguishable from that of a standard I2C serial EEPROM. When in secure element mode, however, the secure microcontroller, secure data storage, hardware crypto accelerators and advanced security firmware of the VaultIC secure element take over. This allows product manufacturers to take full advantage of the advanced cryptography and secure data storage features.
The VaultIC 420i also provides a variety of dedicated anti-tampering hardware for protection against simple and differential power analysis (SPA/DPA) attacks, advanced protection against physical attacks (including active shield), environmental protection systems (voltage, frequency and temperature monitors), light protection and secure management/access protection to prevent reverse engineering or cloning.
The embedded security firmware makes it easy to implement a fully user-defined non-volatile storage of sensitive or secret data; set up identity-based authentication with user, administrator and manufacturer roles; perform authentication, digital signature, encryption/decryption, other advanced cryptographic operations using keys and data from the file system and provide secure communication channels using 3DES or AES. The INSIDE VaultIC starter kit provides an easy path to mastering the cryptographic and secure data storage features of the VaultIC 420i thanks to its full set of libraries and middleware to ease system integration.
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