LONDON NXP Semiconductors and embedded security specialist NTRU have started sampling what they say is the first software-based encryption solution for general-purpose ARM7 processor-based microcontrollers. The parts are targeted at credit card readers, entry access systems, ATMs and set-top boxes.
The companies announced the deal at the Embedded World in Nuremberg, Germany, and said the encryption technology could allow users to upgrade the microcontroller security in an installed application.
"Embedded designers desire sophisticated encryption for even low-cost applications that may be carrying or transmitting sensitive information, which is what makes our partnership with NXP unique," commented Sheila Walker, vice president of business development, NTRU (Acton, Mass.)
NXPís ARM-based microcontrollers feature In Application Programming (IAP) which gives users the option of upgrading their security algorithm in the field, regardless of whether the product has been comprised.
NTRU's software encryption libraries have been included initially in NXP's LPC2000 and LPC3000 microcontrollers.
The software security for the ARM technology-based microcontrollers provide the user tools including encryption and decryption of messages, digital signatures, and utilities protocols like key negotiation.
Specific functionality can include encryption, decryption, random number generation, digital signatures and other utilities protocols to achieve benefits such as confidentiality, authentication, integrity and non-repudiation. The algorithms include Hash algorithms (SHA-1, MD5 and X9.82 RNG), Symmetric-key encryption/decryption (AES, Triple-DES) and Asymmetric-key encryption/decryption (RSA, DSA, Diffie-Hellman).