Cryptography Research Inc. announced an agreement with EM Microelectronic – Marin SA, the semiconductor company of the Swatch Group, regarding the use of the company’s patents to enhance the security of EM Microelectronic’s smart card chips against Differential Power Analysis (DPA) and related attacks.
EM is a supplier of flash-based smart card chips in the telecom market. Under the agreement, EM receives the freedom to use Cryptography Research’s patents as part of its strategy to develop and enhance its security chips used in smart card security applications such as banking and electronic identification. The license also covers software executing on EM
s licensed chips, enabling EMs customers to develop their own security countermeasures without a separate license from Cryptography Research.
DPA is a form of attack that involves monitoring the fluctuating electrical power consumption of a target device and then using advanced statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys and other secrets. Strong countermeasures to DPA help protect smart cards used in applications such as banking, pay television, mass transit, secure ID and wireless telecommunications.
Cryptography Research discovered DPA and has developed a portfolio of approximately 50 patents covering the fundamental countermeasures to DPA attacks.