Microsemi Rolls Out Secure Cryptography Cores

Aliso Viejo-based semiconductor developer Microsemi said this morning that it has rolled out a portfolio of IP cores, in partnership with security and cryptography provider The Athena Group. According to the two, they have added a portfolio of IP cores which feature side channel analysis (SCA) and differential power analysis (DPA) countermeasures, which are used to ensure the security of cryptographic hardware. The new, cryptographic microprocessors, based on Athena's designs, use Microsemi's SmartFusion2 systems-on-a-chip (SoC) field programmage gate arrays and IGLOO2 FPGAs. Differential power analysis (DPA) and side channel monitoring are fascinating technique which analyzes the power usage of a chip or crytographic device, to help decode the cryptographic keys contained within that device--kind of the cryptographic equivalent of using a stethoscope to listen for a click when picking a safe. The countermeasures specifically mask the power usage of those chips to disrupt that type of analysis.