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Secure-IC and Andes Technology jointly provide cybersecurity enhanced RISC-V cores

Hsinchu, Taiwan, Nov. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Secure-IC, the embedded security solutions provider from France specialized in embedded cybersecurity to protect against attacks, enters a strategic partnership with Andes Technology Corporation (TWSE: 6533), a founding member of the RISC-V Foundation and the leading supplier of 32/64-bit embedded CPU cores with solutions serving in excess of 1-billion diversified SoCs yearly. This strategic partnership consists in delivering a secure high performance processor. Secure-IC’s Cyber Escort Unit™ associated with Andes RISC-V processors ensures a protection against both Physical and Cyber Attacks such as buffer overflow, fault injection attack, instruction skip or replacement and is compliant with high security levels (EAL) regarding the Common Criteria Certification and the PP0084 Protection Profile. In addition, the solution is fully aligned with the DARPA System Security Integrated Through Hardware and Firmware (SSITH) program.

AndesCore™ RISC-V processors, based on AndeStar™ V5 architecture, currently include the ultra-compact 32-bit N22 for entry-level microcontrollers and deeply-embedded protocol processing, the 32/64-bit N25F/NX25F for high-speed control tasks or floating-point intensive applications, the 32-bit D25F for signal processing applications, the A25/AX25 for Linux-based applications and the A25MP/AX25MP for cache coherence multi-core applications. To make them best fit application requirements, the 25-series processors offer optional key features such as dynamic branch prediction, instruction and data caches, local memories, floating point unit, and DSP extension. Leveraging its long track record of CPU technologies, Andes delivers its RISC-V processors with leading performance efficiency, and many advanced features such as StackSafe™ for hardware stack protection, CoDense™ for code size compression, and PowerBrake for power management. Moreover, Andes RISC-V cores are available with a rich set of system level configuration options such as Physical Memory Protection (PMP) and Platform-Level Interrupt Controller (PLIC).

The Secure-IC’s Cyber Escort Unit is designed to fill the security gap between software cybersecurity and hardware by escorting step by step the program execution to achieve high execution performance in a secure way, allowing real-time detection of zero-day attacks. Unique on the market, this product builds the foundation for hardware-enabled cybersecurity. It is the only tool on the market that comprises technologies for detecting and deceiving cyberattacks. This technology acts on-the-fly. Precisely, Cyber Escort Unit (Cyber EU in short) is a two-fold technology aiming to protect against four threats:

  1. Return oriented programming (ROP), Jump Oriented Programming (JOP): The attacker reuses chunks of code to assemble a malicious program as a patchwork.
  2. Stack Smashing, by exploiting a buffer overrun or integer under-or-overflow etc.: the attacker crafts some fake stack frames in order to change the program context.
  3. Executable Code Modification, overwrite: the attacker manages to change the genuine program into a malicious program.
  4. Control Flow hijacking: the attacker manipulates the program so that it calls an illicit function, or it takes an illicit branch.

Secure-IC’s solution is deterministic in timing and suitable for real-time application, such as mission-critical applications (e.g., safety requirements in automotive industry) & also suitable for cyber-physical systems, i.e., detecting issues irrespective they arise from physical alteration or cyber-attack.
“Cybersecurity becomes a real challenge because there are many connected devices, and attackers are becoming more and more destructive," said Dr. Charlie Su, CTO and Executive VP of Andes Technology. “We are very pleased to work with Secure-IC to provide the excellent cybersecurity solution to help our customers design robust IoT SoCs. With the integrated platform and FPGA demo ready solution of industry-leading Cyber Escort Unit from Secure-IC and the RISC-V processors from Andes, SoC designers can easily prevent hostile attacks from the outside world with outstanding performance and network security.”

Secure-IC CEO, Hassan Triqui said, “It is a pleasure to integrate our Cyber Escort Unit solution with Andes RISC-V processor. The integration of Cyber Escort Unit with Andes solution provides to customer a secure and high performance processor that protects the systems against security and safety threats. ”

Secure-IC flagship IP is the "Securyzr", a root-of-trust solution for ensuring device security and offering security services (such as authentication, life cycle management, remote configuration and cloud on boarding). This security subsystem can embed a dedicated processing unit based on a standard or cybersecurity-enhanced AndesCore™ V5 processor. The Securyzr using Cyber Escort Unit-security enhanced AndesCore offers a resilience against various attacks such as Side Channel Attack, Fault Injection Attack and Cyber Attack.

Hsiao-Ling Lin

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