System for preventing tampering with integrated circuit

A system for generating a tamper detection signal indicating tampering with one or more circuits of an integrated circuit (IC) includes both a static wire mesh and an active wire mesh. The wire meshes can be formed in the same layer over the circuits to be protected or in different layers. The wire meshes also may cover the entire chip area or only predetermined areas, such as over secure memory and register areas. The wire meshes are connected to a tamper detection module, which monitors the meshes and any signals transmitted via the meshes to detect attempts to access the protected circuits via micro-probing.

 

Read More

Decryption systems and related methods for on-the-fly decryption within integrated circuits

Methods and systems are disclosed for on-the-fly decryption within an integrated circuit that adds zero additional cycles of latency within the overall decryption system performance. A decryption system within a processing system integrated circuit generates an encrypted counter value using an address while encrypted code associated with an encrypted software image is being obtained from an external memory using the address. The decryption system then uses the encrypted counter value to decrypt the encrypted code and to output decrypted code that can be further processed. A secret key and an encryption engine can be used to generate the encrypted counter value, and an exclusive-OR logic block can process the encrypted counter value and the encrypted code to generate the decrypted code. By pre-generating the encrypted counter value, additional cycle latency is avoided. Other similar data independent encryption/decryption techniques can also be used such as output feedback encryption/decryption modes.

 

Read More

Method for low power boot for microcontroller

A microcontroller includes a clock generator having an internal reference clock, a system mode controller establishing an operating mode, a flash memory having an internal clock and a non-volatile option register, and a boot mode selection logic circuit coupled to the system mode controller and the flash memory. The logic circuit outputs a boot mode selection signal instructing the microcontroller to boot in a very low power run (VLPR) mode or a RUN mode. The system mode controller enters the VLPR or RUN mode in response. The flash memory bypasses and disables its internal clock prior to calibration of the flash memory in the VLPR mode and prior to initialization of the flash memory in the RUN mode. The flash memory subsequently uses an external clock signal based on the output of the internal reference clock.

 

Read More

Decryption key management system

A decryption key management system includes a memory, a memory controller, a decryption engine, and an on-chip crypto-accelerator. A key blob and an encrypted code are stored in the memory. The memory controller fetches the key blob and stores it in a memory buffer. The decryption engine fetches the key blob and decrypts it using an OTP key to generate a decryption key. The decryption key is used to decrypt the encrypted code and generate a decrypted code.

 

Read More