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Maxim platform supports high-speed encryption

Posted: 11 Oct 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:evaluation  security  reference platform 

Maxim Integrated Products unleashes evaluation platform that offers the flexibility to handle uncertainties such as security algorithms, different communication protocols, and the need for field-upgradable meters.

With the platform designers can evaluate the MAX2991/MAX2992 G3-PLC compliant chipset, the 71M6541 metering SoC, and the MAXQ1050 secure microcontroller for their next-generation smart meters.

A major concern about smart grid security is the ability to access the grid through the meter. If perpetrated by a cyber-criminal, potentially disastrous actions could cause widespread harm to the grid.

The MAXQ1050 claims to support advanced asymmetric encryption schemes such as elliptic curve and also protects against physical hacking. It incorporates a sophisticated security mechanism to protect secret key data; two self-destruct inputs and various other environmental monitors (temperature and voltage sensors) erase secret key data when an attack condition is detected, thereby preventing sensitive information from falling into the hands of an attacker.

The device claims to support high-speed encryption with hardware accelerators for AES, RSA, DSA, ECDSA, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, and 3DES. A true hardware random-number generator is included for key generation and challenge generation.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
  EE Times

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