Rambus has become the latest company to adopt the open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), using its openness as the basis for a new embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) security core dubbed the CryptoManager Root of Trust.
“The fundamental pillars of architectural design freedom, secure processing siloed away from general processing, and layered security with a root of trust designed for multiple security layers, are unique to the CryptoManager Root of Trust design and enable easy implementation with the highest levels of protection,” Bret Sewell, senior vice president and general manager of Rambus’ security division, explains of the new core design. “The CryptoManager Root of Trust also embeds features that enable semiconductor manufacturers and device OEMs to insert hardware keys, and enables IoT service providers to manage IoT endpoints throughout their lifecycle in the field.”
Rambus’ decision for picking RISC-V over proprietary rivals, the company claims, centres primarily around its open nature allowing for the design of a custom processor built with security in mind from the ground up and with a guarantee that there are no back-doors, intentional or otherwise, which could be included with closed-source proprietary cores.
“The Meltdown and Spectre flaws revealed a new class of vulnerabilities as common processors employ acceleration techniques like speculative execution to improve processing performance,” adds Rick O’Connor, executive director of the RISC-V Foundation. “With solutions like the Rambus CryptoManager Root of Trust, the extensible RISC-V ISA enables developers to build connected products with a fundamentally more robust approach to security.”
Details on the CryptoManager Root of Trust are available from Rambus’ website.