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News Article | May 8, 2017

An innovative European training network, RESCUE, is to take on the key interdependent challenges in nanoelectronic systems design: reliability, security and quality ​In the IoT Era, electronic systems, ultimately, represent the physical backbone of our increasingly digitised world. They are being deployed in life-critical application domains, such as healthcare, transportation, automotive and security, serving societal needs in Europe. Here, the impact and consequences of in-field failures, security attacks or hardware defects could be catastrophic. Reliability, quality and security cannot be treated anymore as standalone aspects and have inherent tradeoffs with application constraints, cost-efficiency, energy consumption, performance of the system and its safety requirements. In order to underpin the next generation implementation technologies and rescue the steady growth of nanoelectronic systems’ performance, new concepts, methodologies and tools for interdisciplinary and multi-scale design are urgently needed. Do not just give a fish, but train fishing! Along with ambitious research goals, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie action H2020 RESCUE ITN ETN will provide an innovative interdisciplinary training for future European engineers and researchers, placing strong emphasis on developing their creative and entrepreneurial mentality. "Traditionally, the research and training in Europe for these highly interdependent challenges in nanoelectronic system design is fragmented and performed by scattered communities. RESCUE has an excellently balanced cross-sectoral consortium of reputable leading European research groups and companies competent to tackle the reliability, security and quality aspects in a holistic manner," says the action coordinator, Dr. Maksim Jenihhin. The industrial sector behind this initiative includes innovative and award-winning European SMEs from the areas of nanoelectronics reliability and security — IROC Technologies and Intrinsic-ID. The large companies on board are Cadence, the global electronic design automation company, and Robert Bosch, the European automotive electronics flagship, which will support the ETN as a partnering organisation. A cutting-edge research institution IHP serves as a bridge for knowledge transfer between the sectors. The academic sector is represented by four top tech universities, Politecnico di Torino and Delft, Brandenburg, Tallinn Universities of Technology. RESCUE was launched on April 1, 2017, and will last for 4 years with the total budget 3.76 MEUR, as a contribution by European Commission. As a first step, the project is recruiting 15 early-stage researchers to the RESCUE team (see more details at

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.2 | Award Amount: 1.32M | Year: 2012

Physically Unclonable Functions (PUFs) are used to uniquely identify electronic components and to protect valuable objects against counterfeiting. They allow creating a root of trust in a hardware system through generating device-unique fingerprints and deriving secret keys from the underlying physical properties of the silicon. Today they are typically found in specially designed hardware components and result from the silicon properties of individual transistors. They exist in many forms, among which are the so-called SRAM PUFs.\n\nThis project intends to study and show the existence of SRAM PUFs and other types of PUFs in standard PCs, laptops, mobile phones and consumer electronics. This has not been attempted so far. The mere existence of physical properties that depend on a component and are reproducible is only the first step to guarantee appropriate robustness, reliability and randomness properties for use as secret keys or trust anchors in mass-market applications. By uncovering the security properties of PUFs in standard components such as graphical processing units, central processing units and PCI connectors, this project will provide the first intrinsic and long-wanted basis for security in everyones most common computing platforms: standard PCs and similar hardware. This new root of trust in turn adds security for mass-market applications, replacing or complementing the role of a trusted platform module and enabling security for applications such as broadcast applications, content protection for the gaming industry and secure day-to-day transactions for everyone. The results of the project will allow for the first time an a priori open platform, the most difficult element to secure in an information-technology system today, to inherit security properties from its own identity and its intrinsic physical properties.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2014

With a mobile wallet the mobile phone becomes a secure storage unit for credit cards, tickets, loyalty cards and keys. Mobile wallets available today require the use of a physical chip, a secure element that is costly to gain access to and has limited storage capacity. As opposed to a physical wallet that usually contains identity cards; no mobile wallet available today can provide the electronic equivalent the electronic identity (eID) because there are no solutions that provide the required level of security. To make the mobile wallet a real alternative to the physical wallet, there is a need for more storage capacity and higher security levels. Our idea is to develop a high-security wallet framework that can be used in combination with mobile wallets from various providers. Combined with a secure element implemented in software, improved authentication methods and our Trusted Service Manager (TSM) back-end system we will be able to provide complete life-cycle management for services with all security levels. The use of a secure software element combined with our TSM architecture will provide a neutral point of contact between the users and the service provider, provide a cost-efficient solution for over-the air provisioning of mobile phones and reduce user lock-in imposed by mobile operators or mobile phone manufacturers. Service providers with low security requirements will benefit from our innovations through easier access to the users and reduced costs for provisioning. Our innovation will aid the roll-out of eIDs in European countries by improving user-friendliness. This is an important step towards improving European eGovernment infrastructure. We, the SMEs will benefit from increased revenue and sales of the developed technology and expect 5 years post project an accumulated turnover of 168 million from selling the new HighTrustWallet, creating an estimated 1120 jobs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-RIA | Phase: ECSEL-06-2015 | Award Amount: 38.85M | Year: 2015

The goal of the PRIME project is to establish an open Ultra Low Power (ULP) Technology Platform containing all necessary design and architecture blocks and components which could enable the European industry to increase and strengthen their competitive and leading eco-system and benefit from market opportunities created by the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. Over 3 years the project will develop and demonstrate the key building blocks of IoT ULP systems driven by the applications in the medical, agricultural, domestics and security domains. This will include development of high performance, energy efficient and cost effective technology platform, flexible design ecosystem (including IP and design flow), changes in architectural and power management to reduced energy consumption, security blocks based on PUF and finally the System of Chip and System in Package memory banks and processing implementations for IoT sensor node systems. Developped advanced as 22nm FDSOI low power technologies with logic, analog, RF and embedded new memory components (STT RAM and RRAM) together with innovative design and system architecture solutions will be used to build macros and demonstrate functionality and power reduction advantage of the new IoT device components. The PRIME project will realize several demonstrators of IoT system building blocks to show the proposed low power wireless solutions, functionality and performance of delivered design and technology blocks. The consortium semiconductor ecosystem (IDMs, design houses, R&D, tools & wafer suppliers, foundries, system/product providers) covers complementarily all desired areas of expertise to achieve the project goals. The project will enable an increase in Europes innovation capability in the area of ULP Technology, design and applications, creation of a competitive European eco-system and help to identify market leadership opportunities in security, mobility, healthcare and smart cost competitive manufacturing.

Some embodiments are directed to a cryptographic method for providing an electronic first device, an electronic second device and an electronic intermediary device, the cryptographic method establishing a cryptographically protected communication channel between the first device and the second device. The method comprises establishing a session identifier (SID) between the first device and the intermediary device. The first device sends the session identifier and a first key element to the second device over an out-of-band channel. The second device sends a registration message comprising the session identifier to the intermediary device. The first and second device can communicate through the intermediary device protected using a shared key derived at the first and second device.

Intrinsic-ID | Date: 2014-10-18

The present invention relates to a method of enabling authentication of an information carrier, the information carrier comprising a writeable part and a physical token arranged to supply a response upon receiving a challenge, the method comprising the following steps; applying a first challenge to the physical token resulting in a first response, and detecting the first response of the physical token resulting in a detected first response data, the method being characterized in that it further comprises the following steps; forming a first authentication data based on information derived from the detected first response data, signing the first authentication data, and writing the signed authentication data in the writeable part of the information carrier. The invention further relates to a method of authentication of an information carrier, as well as to devices for both enabling authentication as well as authentication of an information carrier.

A random number generating system for generating a sequence of random numbers comprising a memory, the memory being writable, volatile and configured such that the memory contains an at least partially random memory content upon each powering-up of the memory, an instantiating unit configured for seeding the random number generating system with a seed dependent upon the at least partially random memory content, the sequence of random numbers being generated in dependence upon the seed, and an over-writing unit configured for over-writing at least part of the memory with random numbers generated by the random number generating system in dependence upon the seed.

An electronic system 100 for generating a cryptographic key, the system comprising

A cryptographic system for reproducibly establishing a reliable data string, such as a cryptographic key, from a noisy physically unclonable function (PUF, 110) is provided. The system comprises a hard decision decoder (150) to decode a first multiple of error correctable data words to obtain a second multiple of corrected and decoded data words and a reliability information extractor (180) to determine reliability information, e.g. soft decision information, that is indicative of a reliability of corrected and decoded data words. The system further comprises a soft decision decoder (160) configured to use the reliability information to decode at least one further correctable data word. Error correcting a PUF using reliability information decreases the false rejection rate.

Intrinsic-ID | Date: 2011-09-28

An electric physical unclonable function (PUF) (100) is provided comprising a semiconductor memory element (110) connectable to a PUF control means for reading content from the memory element and for deriving at least in part from said content a digital identifier, such as a secret key. Upon powering the memory element it settles into one of at least two different stable states. The particular stable state into which the memory element settles is dependent at least in part upon random physical characteristics of the memory element introduced during manufacture of the memory element. Settling of the memory element is further dependent upon a control input (112) of the memory element. The electric physical unclonable function comprises shielding means (142, 144) for shielding, during a time period including the power-up of the memory element and lasting at least until the settling of the memory element, the control input from receiving control signals upon which the particular stable state into which the memory element settles is dependent. In this way, the dependency of the memory element on its physical characteristics is improved, and dependency on possibly irreproducible control signals is reduced.

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