Home > ST Microelectronics introduces new single-chip data encryption engine to boost consumer data security

ST Microelectronics introduces new single-chip data encryption engine to boost consumer data security

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article image HardCache FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified encryption chip for high data security

Global semiconductors specialist, ST Microelectronics has introduced a new range of encryption devices designed to boost consumer data security to one of the most rigorous standards in the world.  

Data security is a serious issue for any commercial enterprise or Government department. In addition to the cost of protecting confidentiality and secret information stored on PCs and laptops, there is a heavy price to pay in the event of data breaches causing sensitive information to be lost or stolen.  

Data security costs will now be dramatically reduced by a unique new device from ST Microelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a world leader in security technologies.  

Called HardCache-SL3/PC, the new device is a single-chip data encryption engine that includes a cryptographic module certified to the United States NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) FIPS 140-2 Level 3 standard, the most rigorous security standard anywhere in the world for non-military applications.  

FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is a US Government standard that specifies requirements for cryptographic modules. Initially developed for use by US Government departments and agencies, FIPS 140-2 is fast becoming a de facto standard, both nationally and internationally, and is the model for the International Security Standard ISO 19790 currently being developed.  

According to Francesco Brianti, Vice President Open Market Business Unit, HardCache-SL3/PC provides a solution certified by NIST for high non-military level of security that is accessible to a broader audience, thanks to its affordable cost.  

ST’s expertise in providing best-in-class security solutions to their customers through the supply of trusted platform modules, smart cards and secure features in set-top box systems is now extended to the secure computer market with the FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified encryption chips.  

Till the introduction of ST’s single-chip data encryption engine, the cost of Level 3 standards compliance was unaffordable for most computer and data storage manufacturers, with the result ‘secure computers’ employed software solutions that could not go beyond Level 2 but also slowed the performance of the computer.  

The HardCache-SL3/PC has no impact on the computer’s performance because the hard-wired encryption engine embedded within the chip performs all the encryption and decryption algorithms that are needed each time the system retrieves data stored from the memory to the central processor.  

The HardCache-SL3/PC is fully supported by software drivers and a development kit to lower the cost of developing new secure applications.

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