The Infineon SLE 78 Security Microcontroller Family Brings Revolutionary Digital Security Features to the Chip Card Industry

Nov 4, 2008 | Technology Media

Neubiberg, Germany and Paris, France – November 4, 2008 – Today at the “Cartes & Identification” Trade Show, Infineon Technologies AG (FSE/NYSE: IFX), the world’s leading supplier of integrated circuits (ICs) for chip cards, announced availability of its latest high-security microcontroller family that utilizes digital security features to an extent that was previously unknown in the chip card industry. Infineon also announced to have introduced a hardware security technology called “Integrity Guard”. With the “Integrity Guard” for the first time in chip card history, security microcontrollers are equipped with comprehensive error-detection capabilities and full on-chip encryption over the complete data path which comprises the dual-CPU, all memories (EEPROM, Flash, ROM, RAM), caches and the buses. The first principle of Infineon’s “Integrity Guard” is that no plain data is available on the chip.

The “Integrity Guard” hardware security technology is available in Infineon’s new security microcontroller family SLE 78. Infineon particularly developed the SLE 78 family and the “ Integrity Guard” for use in highly demanding chip card-based and security applications as called for in the payment and government identification areas.

The chip card industry already honored Infineon’s latest security innovation. Yesterday on the eve of the “Cartes & Identification” opening exhibition day, the SLE 78 family was awarded with the prestigious 2008 Sesame Award in the category of Best Hardware.

“Integrity Guard”, Infineon’s new security technology

Before the background that variety and effectiveness of new chip card attacks are increasing, hardware security is becoming more than ever the differentiating factor in the chip card industry. The “Integrity Guard”, that Infineon specifically developed for use in chip card and security applications, tackles chip card attack scenarios at the very root.

With the new “Integrity Guard” for the first time in chip card history, security microcontrollers are equipped with a comprehensive error-detection capability .The dual-CPU approach allows error-detection even while processing and detects whether a calculation was performed without errors. After detecting an error or the attempt of an attack, the microcontroller can decide whether the operation is continued or an alarm is to be triggered and the operation automatically to be stopped.

Also, for the first time in chip card history, a security microcontroller is equipped with full on-chip encryption over the core architecture and data path, including all memories (EEPROM, Flash, ROM, RAM), buses, caches and the two CPUs. Encrypted signals are of no use to the attacker neither for manipulation nor for eavesdropping. The two CPUs use fully hardware-encrypted calculation with different secret keys in both of the CPUs – which also is a first-time-ever for a commercial security microcontroller.

“Infineon is a leader in error-detection circuits and their utilization in security microcontrollers,” said Dr. Helmut Gassel, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Chip Card & Security division at Infineon Technologies. “Instead of setting up sensors against every possible threat, Infineon invented the “Integrity Guard” which we consider to set a benchmark in high-quality design of security features and enables our SLE 78 family of security microcontrollers to provide comprehensive error-detection, error-correction and on-chip encryption.”

Availability of the SLE 78 family

Today, six members of the SLE 78 security microcontroller family are available in sample quantities. These devices differ in EEPROM size and offer memory capacities between 36 kBytes and 144 kBytes. Volume production is expected to begin in Q1 2009.

Further information

Infineon is demonstrating its comprehensive chip card and security IC portfolio at Booth #4L002 in Hall 4 at the Cartes & Identification Trade Show (Paris-Nord, Villepinte Exhibition Centre, November 4-6, 2008). For more information on the company’s show highlights at Cartes, visit www.infineon.com/cartes. Additional information on Infineon’s chip card IC and security IC portfolio and the new SLE 78 family of security microcontrollers is available at www.infineon.com/security and at www.infineon.com/sle78.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, communications, and security. In the 2007 fiscal year (ending September), the company reported sales of Euro 7.7 billion (including Qimonda sales of Euro 3.6 billion) with approximately 43,000 employees worldwide (including approximately 13,500 Qimonda employees). With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the U.S. from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX).

Information Number

INFCCS200811.007