IoT blockchain alliance promises security down to chip level

October 04, 2016 //By Peter Clarke
IoT blockchain alliance promises security down to chip level
Embedded hardware security company Intrinsic-ID BV (Sunnyvale, CA) has agreed to combine its SRAM-based Physical Unclonable Function (PUF) technology with Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) blockchain technology from GuardTime (Tallinn, Estonia).

The companies claim that security techniques such as firewalls, public keys, intrusion detection and prevention systems struggle in the era of Internet of Things. Instead a combination of SRAM PUF and blockchains will provide scalable data integrity and authentication down to the chip level.

Guardtime and Intrinsic-ID will conduct a series of pilots in order to showcase customer security solutions, leveraging Intrinsic-ID’s SRAM PUF-based key management system, and Guardtime’s KSI Blockchain. The initial focus is on mission assurance for defense customers as well as telecom operators rolling out smart city solutions in energy, health care and transportation.

The classic PUF makes use of the cross-coupling metastability of SRAM cells. An SRAM cell will power up as either a 1 or 0 due to the metastable nature of the circuit, but variations in manufactured silicon create an inherent primary stability. A line of such SRAM bit cells effectively provides a multi-bit word that is repeatable but specific to that silicon implementation and hidden.

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