Yann Loisel, Maxim Integrated Products
EETimes (8/28/2011 2:21 PM EDT)
Cryptographic algorithms are high-performance, secure engines that require considerable space in a design. When countermeasures are added to thwart security attacks, the space and memory requirements grow even more demanding.
For these reasons, cryptographic algorithms have traditionally been embedded as proprietary designs (i.e., intellectual property, IP) in hardware on smart cards or 8-bit chips. With recent improvements in core design and frequency performance, designers are now asking whether the customized IP blocks are still needed for these secure algorithms.
In short, can a designer use a generic core in the hardware to save space and cost, and embed the cryptographic algorithms in software? The answer is simple…well, not so simple - it depends on the need.
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