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Category: Embedded IP

MIPS Technologies Introduces New Secure Licensable Processor Core

By MIPS Technology PR
Nov 4, 2002 - 8:00:00 AM

Family of Secure Data Cores Adds MIPS32™ 4KSd™ Low Power Core for Applications, Ranging from Smart Cards to Set-Top Boxes
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., November 4, 2002 - MIPS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MIPS, MIPSB), a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer and business applications, has expanded its MIPS32™ 4KS™ secure data product family with the MIPS32 4KSd™ core, the most secure licensable, 32-bit core available today.

MIPS32 4KSd Secure Data Core
MIPS32 4KSd Secure Data Core
"Multi application smart cards are expected to move into a growth phase over the next three years, driven by the need for heightened security and fraud reduction, as well as improved convenience. Rising levels of user acceptance of the technology and the launch of sophisticated security, feature-rich smart cards based on processors like MIPS Technologies new 4KSd core will help the market achieve this impressive growth", said Anoop Ubhey, smart card industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

The high-performance, low-power, 4KSd core builds on the company's smart card expertise and the latest enhancements to the MIPS32 architecture to provide an advanced solution for a broad range of applications that require high levels of system security and performance. The 4KSd core, running at 200MHz, meets the high-performance requirements for emerging secure data markets, and at lower frequencies provides the small size and low power consumption necessary for next generation smart cards. Applications for the new core include point-of-deployment security modules for set-top boxes, smart cards, secure data storage, and others where the protection of information from unwanted tampering is of critical importance.

"We live in an increasingly security-conscious world where protecting personal information from unwanted discovery and corruption is a major issue for both consumers and businesses," said Kevin Meyer, vice-president of marketing at MIPS Technologies. "MIPS Technologies has addressed this need with its 4KS secure data family which now includes the 4KSd core."

The new core offers the highest security of any licensable processor core, due to the on-chip security enhancements of the SmartMIPS™ application-specific extension (ASE). These include the secure memory management unit, which partitions applications and protects the sensitive data within each one by preventing unauthorized access by rogue applications. In addition, the 4KSd core has unique and extensive anti-hacker and power analysis countermeasures that can be configured by the SOC designer. The 4KSd core also has the lowest interrupt latency of any secure licensable processor core, a benefit of the recent enhancements to the MIPS32 architecture, which allows the core to respond more quickly to attack.

The SmartMIPS ASE offers flexible, high-performance, software-programmable cryptographic calculation for both public- and secret-key algorithms, including RSA, DES, AES and elliptic curve. Because it enables cryptography in software, it eliminates the need for a hardware coprocessor, resulting in lower power consumption, reduced SOC size, and lower overall system cost. In addition, multiple applications running on a 4KSd core can use different encryption keys without any loss in performance. The 4KSd core delivers 270 DMIPS at 200 MHz, making it the highest performance, licensable processor core designed for the security market.

"Cryptography algorithms change constantly as codes change and markets evolve, so the ability to change algorithms in software within a secure environment has never been more important," said Meyer.

User defined instruction set extensions are a powerful and unique feature of the 4KSd core that enable expert designers to further differentiate their secure SOC applications by allowing user extensions to the processor in order to create unique features for security and significantly increase performance for cryptography and other applications.

The 4KSd secure data core, which is synthesizable and portable across silicon manufacturing processes, can be easily integrated into SOC designs.

Technical specifications include:

- Reference process: 0.13-micron
- Frequency (worst case): 200 MHz
- Performance: 270 DMIPS at 200 MHz

- Cryptography performance example:
1024-bit RSA signature authentication in
less than 15 msec at 200 MHz
- Power consumption: 0.18 mW/MHz
- Core size: 0.7 mm2, excluding caches

Development support
The 4KSd core is based on the MIPS® industry-standard architecture, which is supported by a strong infrastructure of tools, software and support services. The core supports standard operating systems such as JavaCard™. In fact, the SmartMIPS ASE increases the overall performance of virtual machine-based languages.

The MIPS32 4KSd core is available now.

About MIPS Technologies
MIPS Technologies, Inc. is a leading provider of industry-standard processor architectures and cores for digital consumer and business applications. The company drives the broadest architectural alliance that is delivering 32- and 64-bit embedded RISC solutions. The company licenses its intellectual property to semiconductor companies, ASIC developers and system OEMs. MIPS Technologies and its licensees offer the widest range of robust, scalable processors in standard, custom, semi-custom and application-specific products. The company is based in Mountain View, Calif., and can be reached at +1 (650) 567-5000 or www.mips.com.

MIPS is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, and MIPS32, 4KS, 4KSd and MIPS-based are trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. JavaCard is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

MIPS Technologies Introduces New Secure Licensable Processor Core

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Product data and specifications in this article are the responsibility of the manufacturer. No warrenty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of manufacturer-supplied data. So there.
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