CPU Technology Rolls Out Acalis CPU872 Secure Processor

Chip addresses the need for anti-tamper technology in critical commercial and military systems

March 12, 2009

3 Min Read


PLEASANTON, Calif. " March 9, 2009 " CPU Technology, Inc. (CPU Tech), a leader in secure processing solutions, announces today the availability of the Acalis' CPU872 secure processor that directly addresses the need for anti-tamper technology in critical commercial and military systems. The processor samples, evaluation boards and software development kits are now available for development of secure computing electronic systems. The Acalis CPU872, a trusted and secure semiconductor device, is the first to answer the urgent need to protect critical program information (CPI) as required by DoD Instruction 5200.39. This instruction defines anti-tamper (AT) as: "Systems engineering activities intended to deter and/or delay exploitation of critical technologies in a U.S. defense system in order to impede countermeasure development, unintended technology transfer, or alteration of a system."

Designed with a secure methodology and fabricated at the IBM Trusted Foundry, the Acalis CPU872 offers the strongest protection available for software and systems. Threats to software and systems begin with reverse engineering, which enables cloning, malicious insertion and development of countermeasures. Acalis protects not only on-chip software but entire systems against tampering or reverse engineering.

"Because of the recent surges in counterfeit electronics, both industry and government need to be involved in promoting anti-tamper technology," said Ed King, founder and technical fellow at CPU Tech. "Off-the-shelf solutions are needed today."

"CPU Tech has been developing modernized computing systems for the military for nearly 20 years. Our modernization efforts often involve reverse engineering undocumented behaviors to ensure compatibility. This experience led to our development of the trusted and secure Acalis CPU872," said Clay Johnson, chief executive officer at CPU Tech. "The Acalis CPU872 is not only an important milestone for CPU Tech but for the secure computing industry."

The Acalis CPU872 is the first member of the Acalis family of secure processors offered to the merchant market. This device contains two complete PowerPC' 440 subsystems, each including 4MB on-chip eDRAM to maximize security. The processors communicate efficiently and securely with each other as well as directly with other CPU872 components, using a high performance, low latency communications system. This integration enables designers to build systems with significantly fewer components resulting in increased reliability and decreased power, cost and area.

Optionally, one of the two Acalis CPUs can be 'opened' to external communication while the second CPU is isolated behind an on-chip firewall.

The Acalis CPU872 has direct application wherever software and systems must be protected. To ensure that components and software throughout a system have not been modified or compromised, the CPU872 can be used in a supply chain as a secure anchor point. In communications systems, Acalis ensures secure encryption key generation and management across wired or wireless connections. Additionally, by applying sensitive algorithms and data in a secure mobile system, the CPU872 can also be used to perform intelligent audio and video processing.

Development Environment The EB872 evaluation board includes: CPU872 sample, Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA and four 10 Gb/s Express Link interfaces for direct multi-board expansion. The Acalis SystemLab SDK (software development kit) is available along with the Acalis SystemLab Sentry option for security enablement.

Price and Availability Pricing for the evaluation board starts at $10,000. Pricing for the software development kit starts at $5,000. Pricing for the CPU872 Secure Processor in volume is $400. Samples and kits are available immediately. The CPU872 is an industrial-grade device with a long-term supply.

About CPU Technology, Inc. CPU Tech produces the Acalis' family of secure processors that provide the strongest protection for software and systems against the threat of reverse engineering. This advanced system-on-chip technology enables the development of secure and 100% software compatible electronics modernization technology solving obsolescence problems while reducing size, weight and power (SWAP) for commercial and defense systems. CPU Tech is a privately held company founded in 1989 with headquarters in Pleasanton, CA and a regional office in Reston, VA. For more information, please visit www.cputech.com/acalis.

Acalis' and SystemLab PS' are registered trademarks and Acalis SystemLab is a trademark of CPU Technology, Inc. PowerPC' is a registered trademark of IBM Corporation.

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