SANTA CLARA, Calif. ( ChipWire) -- Two new technology options from InterTrust Technologies Corp. will enable chip and system builders to add security to their products at low cost and without specialized coprocessors, cryptographic accelerators or custom devices, the company said.
The products, introduced this week, are designed to address the growing demand for solutions that let OEMs develop low-cost devices with hardware-based protection against piracy of digital book, music and video content, and security for embedded applications like the storage of digital currency.
The TrustChip architecture enables the design of secure system-on-chip solutions, and the RightsChip microcontroller can be integrated into system designs, InterTrust said. The TrustChip architecture includes silicon designs, intellectual property, security firmware and security management services, all of which is avail able for license from Santa Clara-based InterTrust.
TrustChip supports both digital rights management and general-purpose security, the company said. It provides, for example, an isolated environment for the digital rights management software and guarantees that a cell phone is running the correct operating system. TrustChip can also protect embedded firmware from reverse engineering, the company said.
The security firmware requires little space on the system-on-chip (SoC), said Olin Sibert, InterTrust's vice president for strategic technologies. He said the actual run-time cost of the security firmware for the SoC would be under 10% in a low-end device such as a play-only MP3 player. For more-sophisticated devices, the percentage of run-time cost for the SoC would be lower, he said.
Cirrus Logic Inc. was the first chip maker to implement TrustChip, designing it into its Maverick Lock product. Arm Ltd. in Cambridge, England, has also committed to TrustChip. Other companies are expected to roll o ut TrustChip-based products next year. Developer kits for the firmware and services will be available from InterTrust in the first quarter of 2001.
The RightsChip is a microcontroller from Infineon Technologies AG of Munich. Part of that company's SLE66 series, it's been fitted with firmware to run security applets and with InterTrust's digital rights management software.
The microcontroller can secure local transactions and key management and can be easily integrated into designs for consumer electronics products. The RightsChip allows OEMs to design devices with local stored value, like a music player loaded with money that can be used to purchase music over the Internet.
Infineon manufactures the chip but it's being sold by InterTrust, priced at under $3 in volume quantities.