Joint partnership enhances SoC security

27th March 2017
Joe Bush

A collaboration has been established between Imagination Technologies and Barco Silex through which the two companies will develop IP for secure system-on-chip (SoC) platforms based on Imagination’s MIPS family of processors. Imagination will integrate Barco Silex’ eSecure solution for embedded security into a new Trusted Element (TE) IP product. Imagination’s licensable TE will enhance security for customers’ connected devices.

The eSecure solution is an acclaimed IP module that turns ASIC and SoC designs into fully secured hardware platforms. Under the agreement, Barco Silex will provide an embedded security solution based on eSecure which will embed a MIPS microAptiv CPU as an ultra-low power controller. Imagination will then provide customers with a range of robust security options designed around eSecure for their MIPS-based SoCs for systems as diverse as data centre equipment to low power IoT wireless sensor nodes. Imagination’s TE will provide secure boot, root of trust, and authentication for systems that operate in a trusted execution environment. In a system that uses Imagination’s OmniShield-ready MIPS CPUs for multi-domain security, this combination will provide high levels of system security performance and capabilities for connected devices not available in other solutions.

“In an increasingly connected world, having security embedded in hardware is a must,” said Jim Nicholas, EVP, MIPS business unit at Imagination. “Imagination has been at the forefront of driving multi-domain hardware security with our OmniShield technology. Now with Barco Silex’ eSecure, we have selected a state-of-the-art solution to add a new level of hardware security to our 32/64-bit MIPS processor-based subsystems. Today, our MIPS CPUs already power billions of products. By integrating this exceptional security platform, we are further strengthening that position.”

Barco Silex’ eSecure module functions as hardware root-of-trust, guaranteeing the authenticity and integrity of the application’s hardware, software, data and communication. It offloads all security operations to hardware and scales according to the needs of the application. eSecure takes care of the secure storage and management of keys, and its cryptographic engine supports the latest algorithms for TLS/DTLS 1.3, Thread Networking, Apple HomeKit, Bluetooth and ZigBee.

“We are very pleased to be part of this ambitious collaboration. It squarely fits with our ambition to help create secure and intuitive IoT devices, networking platforms from device to cloud and enterprise systems,” commented Thierry Watteyne, CEO of Barco Silex. “This agreement recognises the quality of our security solutions and the reach of our expertise. In addition it will help our developers to further push our embedded security platforms beyond the state-of-the-art, especially in terms of optimising the low-power/high security ratio in chip architectures.”

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