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Alif Semiconductor launches new security-focused on-chip solution

Alif Semiconductor launches new security-focused on-chip solution

Alif Semiconductor recently introduced a new on-chip security solution. The security architecture combines an integrated Secure Enclave, configurable secure firewall and secure communication between processing cores. Each device is equipped with unique key pairs for enhanced security.

The Secure Enclave, found in all devices of the Ensemble family, is a dedicated subsystem that handles crucial security functions. These functions include secure key management and storage, secure boot with an immutable Root-of-Trust, run-time attestation using certificates, hardware cryptographic services, secure debugging, read-out protection, secure firmware updates, power management and lifecycle management.

Alif notes that a strong foundation of trust is crucial for practical security functions. The Secure Enclave on Ensemble devices establishes trust by internally creating and storing unique device key pairs, eliminating the need for external equipment like a Hardware Security Module (HSM). According to the company, this allows each device and customer to establish a chain of trust from the network to the device without depending on third-parties.

Alif says that the Alif Ensemble family offers a scalable solution, ranging from single-core to multi-core devices. It can combine Cortex-M55 MCU cores, up to two Cortex-A32 microprocessor cores for high-level operating systems and up to two Ethos-U55 microNPUs for AI/ML acceleration.

Developers can also allocate memory and peripherals for each CPU core using the Secure Enclave’s firewall mechanism. This provides flexibility and enhances system security by separating resources and enabling secure operations. The Secure Enclave surpasses the capabilities of traditional Arm TrustZone, the company says.

The Secure Enclave boots from a trusted ROM image and verifies the absence of malicious interference before executing code on application cores.

Alif’s Ensemble devices offer affordable solid security by integrating security measures into the chip, the company notes. With life cycle management ensured by the Secure Enclave, the chip and end-product are protected from cloning, rollbacks, malware and IP theft.

Alif Semiconductor, founded in 2019, provides scalable and connected AI-enabled embedded computing solutions. Their fusion processors offer low-power techniques, functional integration, AI/ML edge processing, high security and OS diversity.

In November, Alif Semiconductor announced that its Ensemble low-power AI fusion processors and microcontrollers were available worldwide through global distribution channels.

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