STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, today announced that it has signed a comprehensive agreement with Rambus Inc. that expands existing licenses between the two Companies, settles all outstanding claims, and commits both organizations to explore additional opportunities for collaboration.
The multifaceted agreement gives Rambus access to ST's Fully-Depleted Silicon On Insulator (FD-SOI) process-technology design environment. With this, Rambus will be able to benefit from FD-SOI's reduced silicon geometries and lower power consumption at 28nm and below in its future memory and interface solutions.
For its part, ST has secured license terms from the Cryptography Research, Inc. (CRI) division of Rambus to make it possible for ST to deploy Differential Power Analysis (DPA) countermeasures and CryptoFirewall™ core security technology across a wider range of products. DPA is a form of attack that involves monitoring the fluctuating electrical power consumption of a target device and then using statistical methods to derive cryptographic keys and other secrets. DPA countermeasures are used to protect secret cryptographic keys, including those used to secure transactions for banking, identity, pay television, video gaming, smartphones, government, and other applications.
CryptoFirewall cores are complete hardware-based security blocks designed by CRI to protect against a wide range of attacks and tampering techniques.
The new terms allow ST to further strengthen the security robustness of its leading-edge set-top box ICs and gateways for multimedia services including PayTV.
"This agreement with Rambus is an exceptional win-win-win for both parties, as they can now share and use more broadly important technologies that have great value to us, the industry and our customers," said Gian Luca Bertino, Executive Vice President Digital Convergence Group, STMicroelectronics. "While Rambus can now use our revolutionary FD-SOI process technology in its designs, ST intends to further enhance the security of our outstanding set-top box ICs and to deploy DPA countermeasures across the whole range of our relevant product portfolio."
"ST has implemented DPA countermeasure technology for years in its secure microcontrollers and has been a leader in data security", said Paul Kocher, President and Chief Scientist at the Cryptography Research division of Rambus. "With this new comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement, our technology will be further deployed across a wide array of products and applications, benefitting customers by improving the security of digital systems."
In settling all outstanding claims, the agreement also covers ST's use of Rambus' patented memory interface and serial-link innovations.