Integrated secure authenticator simplifies interconnect complexity in medical and industrial apps



Maxim Integrated announced that it is now sampling the DS28E35 DeepCover® Secure Authenticator, a highly secure cryptographic solution for a host controller to authenticate peripherals. The DS28E35 integrates a FIPS 186-based, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) engine to implement asymmetric (public-key) cryptography to operate a challenge-and-response authentication protocol between a host controller and attached peripherals, sensors, or modules. Operating over a single pin on the 1-Wire® interface, the DS28E35 reduces interconnect complexity, simplifies designs, and reduces cost. It provides crypto-strong authentication security for many applications, including medical sensors, industrial programmable logic controller (PLC) modules, and consumer devices. The use of ECDSA public-key cryptography saves cost and reduces key management complexity by eliminating the need for the host controller to store and protect the authentication key, which is required for comparable symmetric (secret-key) solutions. The DS28E35 operates with a key pair: a public key that resides with the host and an associated private key stored in the DS28E35. As a primary benefit of ECDSA, there is no security requirement to protect the host public key. It is imperative, however, to protect the private key stored in the DS28E35. This is accomplished through Maxim's DeepCover security technologies, which provide the strongest affordable protection against die-level attacks that attempt to discover the private key. DeepCover technologies include advanced die routing and layout techniques, additional proprietary methods for private key protection, and circuits that actively monitor for tampering. Key Advantages -ECDSA asymmetric, public-key cryptography saves cost: eliminates the need for additional secure authentication key storage ICs in the host system. High integration reduces costs, simplifies designs: ECDSA engine with a 1-Wire interface; nonvolatile (NV) memory; hardware random number generator for signatures and key-pair generation; decrement-only usage counter; and DeepCover invasive-attack protection circuitry. -Reduces interconnect complexity: 1-Wire interface allows operation from a single dedicated contact which, in turn, improves reliability and performance. Easily adapts to a host-peripheral system where secure authentication is required. "Customers are increasingly looking for the advantages offered by asymmetric public-key crypto for their secure authentication needs," said Scott Jones, Executive Director at Maxim Integrated. "We've combined our extensive embedded security expertise with the integration of key features to provide a solution that is both cryptographically and physically secure and easy to add to an end application." "The weakest point of a symmetric-key based host-peripheral secure authentication system is typically the host component where secret keys are often not protected sufficiently," said Christopher Tarnovsky, Vice President of Semiconductor Security Services at IOActive. "The use of a public-key authentication solution eliminates this security risk." Availability and Pricing Available in a 6-pin TSOC package and a 2 mm x 3 mm 8-pin TDFN-EP package specified over the -40 °C to +85 °C temperature range. Pricing starts at $1.08 (1000-up, FOB USA). Maxim Integrated