CPU Technology, Inc. (CPU Tech) announced the immediate availability of the Acalis® CPU872 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) with embedded DRAM and tamper protection for qualified customers. The Acalis CPU872, a Field Programmable MultiCore (FPMC), directly addresses the need for a tamper-resistant, trusted supply of high-performance processing devices for use in vital applications. Fabricated at the IBM Trusted Foundry in cooperation with the Trusted Access Program Office and U.S. Navy sponsorship, the Acalis CPU872 combines defenses against malicious circuits and other Trojan horses, and effective and resilient run-time techniques to protect against tampering and reverse-engineering without impacting performance. The CPU872 is an industrial grade device with a minimum ten year life span. Samples are available to qualified organizations.
In addition to integral security features, the highly integrated SoC is not susceptible to the Princeton type attacks. The device contains dual high performance PowerPC® 440 and FPU cores, embedded DRAM, and utility compute engines to accelerate computation of complex algorithms, communications, and synchronization between processors. This integration enables designers to build systems with significantly fewer components resulting in increased reliability and decreased power, cost and area. Its low power consumption makes the CPU872 the most efficient high performance PowerPC offering in the industry.
Industries such as financial, military & aerospace, and communications, along with many others that maintain critical infrastructure, are increasingly concerned with the security of their computer systems. Of growing concern is the threat that systems containing foreign-made components, in some cases of an unknown origin, are vulnerable to tampering. According to the Defense Science Board Task Force report on High Performance Microchip Supply released in February 2005, recent shifts in the electronics supply structure open such components to the insertion of “Trojan horses” and other unauthorized design inclusions. These backdoor features could be used to disrupt operations or obtain confidential and proprietary information. Other areas of concern include loss of intellectual property through reverse engineering and interruption of the supply chain to critical applications. Recently, a group led by a Princeton University computer security researcher demonstrated a simple method of stealing encrypted information. As reported by The New York Times, February 22, 2008, the group used a can of air to freeze the memory chips and special pattern-recognition software to identify security keys. Their technique compromises industry standards such as “Trusted Computing” hardware as well as utilities contained in the most popular operating systems.