The folks at Maxim Integrated Products say that their 1-Wire secure memory devices have been chosen by Altera for a new security solution that adds additional security to designs using the Altera Cyclone III and Cyclone II FPGA families.
Maxim's secure memory devices, priced at less than $1.00 (1000-up), incorporate both the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-1), a thoroughly scrutinized public hash protocol developed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the cost-effective 1-Wire interface. This combination of technologies results in an elegant challenge-and-response authentication scheme that prevents unauthorized cloning of OEM FPGA designs.
The security solution utilizes a challenge-and-response-based authentication (identify friend or foe, or IFF) sequence between the FPGA and a 1-Wire secure memory device to differentiate between an authorized and a cloned environment. An authorized environment or product incorporates a 1-Wire secure memory, which has the correct OEM secret key. Once the FPGA determines that it is communicating in an authorized environment, it transitions to normal operation by enabling all the functions defined by the customer-specific configuration code stored in the SRAM. If the authentication sequence fails, the FPGA can either disable system operation or set system operation to reduced functionality.
Maxim's 1-Wire secure memories use the SHA-1 protocol, which has been thoroughly scrutinized and certified by the cryptographic community. The folks at Maxim believe that SHA-1's public nature gives Maxim's secure memory devices more credence than solutions based on proprietary and private security algorithms that typically rely on "security by obscurity." Compared to authentication products which are based on encryption algorithms, Maxim's SHA-1 based security solutions are subject to significantly lower export restrictions, making them ideal for products that have broad international distribution.
Maxim's 1-Wire bus is a simple signaling scheme that combines data and power for device operation onto a single bus and ground return. This clever communication scheme allows designers to add memory, authentication, and mixed-signal functions while minimizing system interconnect.
You can learn more about 1-Wire at www.maxim-ic.com/1-Wire. For an online presentation of how this security solution works, please visit www.maxim-ic.com/Cyclone. The complete FPGA security reference design is available on Altera's website; Click Here for more details.