Sunnyvale, Calif. Maxim Integrated Products has introduced a high-performance 32-bit RISC microcontroller for the financial terminal market. The MAXQ1103 integrates security supervisory features, advanced encryption acceleration, and 1 kB internal nonvolatile memory (NVSRAM) around a 32-bit MAXQ microcontroller core, which makes it suitable for applications that require PCI, FIPS 140-2, Common Criteria, or other security certifications.
With this high integration, the MAXQ1103 simplifies and protects designs that require a high level of physical and logical security such as financial terminals, government security applications, and digital rights management. The 32-bit RISC microcontroller is resistant to side-channel attacks and physical attacks, and provides many options for application-specific tamper detection, Maxim said. Most important for key protection is the MAXQ1103's custom-designed, battery-backed nonvolatile (NV) SRAM, which the company says is the best kind of memory for secret storage because it can be erased quickly in response to tampering.
The MAXQ1103 also improves power consumption by integrating all of its functions into one chip: NVSRAM for key storage, a real-time clock, and circuitry to detect tamper events. The device also integrates several high-security hardware accelerators for standard cryptographic algorithms, which means that applications can support high-speed encryption and authentication algorithms with minimal code and data memory support.
The MAXQ1103 supports code encryption through a dedicated 3DES engine that decrypts instructions and a 4 kB instruction cache to maintain performance. The hardware 3DES accelerator needs only 57 cycles to execute an encryption or decryption operation. So running at 20 MHz, the 3DES algorithm completes in only 2.8 microseconds. Also, since the algorithm is implemented in hardware and not software, <100 bytes of instruction code are required to load and execute the hardware engine. The MAXQ1103 offers hardware acceleration support for several advanced encryption algorithms including the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256), DES, 3DES, RSA (up to 2048-bit keys), DSA, and Elliptic Curve DSA (ECDSA).
In addition, each MAXQ1103 uses its hardware random number generator to create its own unique encryption keys. The result is that the encrypted code stored externally is always different from device to device, even when the decrypted code image is the same.
Pricing: Starts at $12.00 (1000-up, FOB USA).
Availability: The MAXQ1103 is available in 144-pin TQFP and 144-pin CSBGA packages. It operates over the -40° to +70° commercial temperature range. A version that operates over the industrial (-40° to +85°C) temperature range will follow in a few months. Evaluation kits and software libraries are available.
Production information: MAXQ1103
Maxim Integrated Products, 1-800-998-8800, www.maxim-ic.com