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eMemory Announces Validation of On-Chip Security IP on UMC Advanced Nodes

Published: Jul 27,2017

HSINCHU, Taiwan – eMemory announced today that it has verified its latest on-chip security IP on several of UMC’s advanced nodes. The IP, based on unique IC biometrics, can enable a wide range of in-field security applications and be tailored for hardware protection within IoT and data centers.

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In collaboration with UMC, eMemory’s NeoPUF IP has been taped out on the foundry’s 28nm HPC+ technology platform. In addition, it has been verified on UMC’s 55nm ULP platform, while verification on UMC’s 55nm ULP eFlash platform is expected to be completed soon.

As IC security has become immensely important, silicon PUF (Physical Unclonable Functions) is increasingly used in security applications for its “uniqueness” and “unclonability”. During the IC manufacturing process, variability occurs and creates physical differences among ICs, which become the so-called silicon fingerprint of ICs.

The silicon fingerprint is an unclonable identifier of individual ICs and can be used as a root of trust. An embedded NeoPUF scheme can secure the chip and IoT objects from the first point of the manufacturing process to their implementation and long-term operation.

eMemory’s NeoPUF technology is derived from the standard CMOS logic process and does not require costly error correction measures. It can be used to facilitate various security functionalities in the field, including authentication, encryption, and secure key generation.

The joint efforts between eMemory and UMC will enable the deployment of NeoPUF on UMC platforms, allowing customers to add security features to products tailored to the booming IoT market.

"eMemory’s NeoPUF IP is a welcome resource for our foundry customers wishing to customize their ICs to serve IoT and other security markets," said T H Lin, Division Director of IP Development & Design Support at UMC. "We are pleased at the results of this IP collaboration for our 28nm HPC+, 55nm ULP, and 55nm ULP eFlash technology platforms, as these processes are specifically engineered to address the performance and ultra-low power requirements of IoT applications."

"NeoPUF is a security solution that provides customers with comprehensive security and competitive edges, and we’re pleased to work with UMC to extend the IP to its 28nm HPC+, 55nm ULP, and 55nm ULP eFlash platforms,” said Michael Ho, Vice President of Business Development at eMemory.

PUF-based schemes have long been used at government and military information centers that necessitate the most stringent degree of security requirements. It is now increasingly used in other applications including IoT and data centers.

eMemory’s NeoPUF is able to fix major problems of conventional PUF solutions such as the high costs of complicated error correction codes (ECC). Its PUF responses have been reliably tested and the performance remains robust in temperatures ranging from -40℃ to more than 125℃.

In addition, NeoPUF is able to extract a highly scalable random seed of up to 1024 kbits. Users are provided the desired flexibility to choose their own key-generation approaches.

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