SAN FRANCISCO Cypress Semiconductor Corp. said Tuesday (Jan. 31) it has collaborated with fingerprint sensor provider AuthenTec to create a reference design for adding biometric security to external hard disk drives using fingerprint recognition technology.
The companies said the reference design was created in response to the proliferation of portable data storage, which carries with it the increased risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands in the event that a portable drive is lost or stolen. The new Cypress/AuthenTec CY4651 reference design, the companies said, allows manufacturers of portable hard disk drives or enclosures to add biometric security, limiting access to data on the drives to those with a registered fingerprint.
Cypress (San Jose, Calif.) and AuthenTec (Melbourne, Fla.) said the CY4651 reference design includes everything needed to add security to an external hard disk drive, including schematic diagrams, firmware, a user design manual and a complete bill of materials. The total cost of all components is approximately $7, which the companies said is the most inexpensive solution available for adding biometric security.
The reference design includes AuthenTec's EntrePad 2510 biometric fingerprint slide sensor and Cypress's high-speed, low-power EZ-USB FX2LP USB microcontroller, which interfaces with AuthenTec's sensor and delivers data from the drive to the host computer, the companies said.
"Security is an increasingly important consideration for portable mass storage," said Rajiv Nema, product marketing manager for Cypress's High-Speed PC Peripherals business unit, in a statement. "This reference design gives our mass storage customers a powerful, economic and easy to implement solution much desired in the marketplace."
The CY4651 reference design can be downloaded free of charge from Cypress in the "Reference Designs" section of the company's Web site.