Maxim’s unclonable security ICs use ChipDNA technology to protect IP

Described as uncloneable, the DS28E38 is a secure authenticator with Maxim Integrated’s ChipDNA technology.

The DS28E38 DeepCover secure authenticator from Maxim Integrated features ChipDNA physically unclonable function (PUF) technology. According to the company, this makes it immune to invasive attacks because the ChipDNA-based root cryptographic key does not exist in memory or any other static state. The PUF circuit relies on the naturally occurring random analogue characteristics of fundamental MOSFET semiconductor devices to produce cryptographic keys. When required, the circuit generates the per-device unique key, which instantly disappears when it is no longer in use.

If the DS28E38 were to come under an invasive physical attack, the attack would cause the sensitive electrical characteristics of the circuit to change, impeding the breach, says Maxim. As well as protection, ChipDNA technology simplifies or eliminates the need for complicated secure IC key management, claims Maxin, as the key can be used directly for cryptographic operations. The ChipDNA circuit has also demonstrated high reliability over process, voltage, temperature, and aging. Additionally, to address cryptographic quality, PUF output evaluation to the NIST-based randomness test suite was successful with pass results. Using the DS28E38, engineers can, from the start, build into their designs a defence against hacking.

The IC is low-cost and simple to integrate into a customer’s design via Maxim’s single-contact 1-Wire interface combined with a low-complexity fixed-function command set including cryptographic operations.

Cryptographic tools are available, including asymmetric (ECC-P256) hardware engine, true random number generator (TRNG), decrement-only counter with authenticated read, 2.0kbit of secured EEPROM, and unique 64-bit ROM identification number.

The DS28E38 is provided by Maxim Integrated in a 3.0 x 3.0mm six-pin TDFN package.

Maxim Integrated develops analogue and mixed-signal products and technologies to make systems smaller and smarter, with enhanced security and increased energy efficiency. Target markets are empowering design innovation for our automotive, industrial, healthcare, mobile consumer, and cloud data centre customers.


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