zeroRISC, Nuvoton, Winbond produce OpenTitan secure silicon

zeroRISC, Nuvoton, Winbond produce OpenTitan secure silicon

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By Peter Clarke

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Startup zeroRISC Inc. (Boston, Mass.) has worked with Nuvoton Technology Corp. and Winbond Electronics Corp. to produce an OpenTitan secure chip.

The company was founded in 2023 to build on OpenTitan, an open source silicon root of trust project administered by the lowRISC organization. The chip provides an integrated circuit that can serves as a root of trust.

Since the inception of the OpenTitan project in 2018, zeroRISC, Nuvoton and Winbond have worked together to develop the project’s first silicon-proven design. zeroRISC’s business model is to provide secure silicon in the form of RoT intellectual property, as well as secure firmware, software and services.

“Until now, nearly all connected devices have been built without true foundational security and so are open to stealthy cyberattacks both in the silicon supply chain and after deployment in the field,” said Dominic Rizzo, founder and CEO of zeroRISC, in a statement. “By partnering with Nuvoton, Winbond and other coalition partners to produce the first commercial-grade open-source chip in the world, we’re delivering on the promise of the OpenTitan project and democratizing access to open, trustworthy foundational security,” he added.

Earl Grey

Since its founding in April 2023, zeroRISC has focused on open-source development of production-quality OpenTitan-based discrete secure chips as well as secure silicon subsystems that can be integrated into third-party systems on a chip (SoCs) and chiplets.

The chip is based on the ‘Earl Grey’ design that achieved tapeout in mid-2023. The technology is expected to contribute to the integrity of devices ranging from motherboards and network cards to laptops, phones, and IoT platforms. It serves as the foundation for security services and brings the ready-made benefits of a hardware RoT to these devices.

Beyond the commercial availability of the discrete chip, Winbond and zeroRISC are working with the OpenTitan coalition on the development of an OpenTitan-based integrated secure execution environment (SEE). Scheduled for production release later this year, the integrated SEE underscores the coalition’s shared commitment to advancing transparency and trustworthiness in silicon.

“As the worldwide leading supplier in the code storage flash memory, ensuring the security of the supply chain and transparency and trustworthiness of our Secure Flash products is paramount to us,” said Tung-Yi Chan, deputy CEO at Winbond.

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