Design Con 2015

Microsemi's EnforcIT Security Monitor for SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 FPGAs

November 19, 2013

Toni_McConnel-November 19, 2013

Microsemi Corporation has released EnforcIT Security Monitor, an advanced security IP block providing additional layers of user-configurable tamper protection and responses to Microsemi's SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs and IGLOO2 FPGAs. SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 devices can be easily configured to interface with hardware security mechanisms built into the silicon of these FPGAs. When configured for reporting, EnforcIT Security Monitor can report to the FPGA a variety of internal security flags and system conditions. When configured to act autonomously, EnforcIT Security Monitor can respond to malicious FPGA threats and take action, mitigating further attack by protecting or destroying critical data and design.

EnforcIT Security Monitor is a single, low-resource soft IP block capable of monitoring and responding to an assortment of internal security flags and system conditions. Taking full advantage of the tamper detectors and responses built into the FPGA silicon, it can be configured to report threats, act autonomously or some combination of the two allowing the user to find the right balance between security, performance and safety. Microsemi's EnforcIT Security Monitor can also be used as part of the layered solution in NSAs Commercial Solutions for Classified Program.

The EnforcIT Security Monitor IP block is made up of a JTAG monitoring core, a clock frequency monitor core, a system heartbeat and a watchdog timer, all working together to ensure the FPGA is not under attack. Each of these four components can emit individual tamper responses. Under tamper, the user can configure various responses up to and including device zeroization.

Specific features include:

  • Configurable alarm actions including zeroize, lockdown, chip reset and more;
  • Safety controls permitting the user to delay or cancel automatic responses;
  • Customizable clock, JTAG and timeout monitoring;
  • Logic integrity and fault detection; and
  • Runtime IP version reporting.

EnforcIT Security Monitor is released as a single component—an IP block in encrypted source form. Provided with this IP block is technical support and comprehensive documentation describing the use and configuration of the product along with best practices. Customers interested in evaluating or purchasing EnforcIT Security Monitor can contact their local Microsemi sales representative for more information or email sales.support@microsemi.com and reference "EnforcIT Security Monitor" in the subject line. 

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