Home » News » Hardware » Spansion Announces Availability of First Flash Memory-Based Security for Handsets
Spansion announced the availability of the industry's first Flash memory subsystem that provides security protection from viruses, attacks and service thefts on handsets. Addressing the growing wireless requirements for more robust security, these MirrorBit(R) solutions protected by Spansion Secure technology provide the highest level of commercially available protection with hardware-based encryption for mobile handsets. Spansion Secure technology for handsets is part of the company's secure Flash strategy, designed to embed a range of encryption, authentication and other security features inside Spansion Flash memory solutions, enabling protection of valuable consumer data, content and code.
Spansion's landmark approach to mobile security arrives in an era where the handset is evolving to become today's universal utility -- capable of downloading rich digital content and personal, financial and enterprise data over the air. At the same time, operators and financial service providers are looking for tougher security to protect users from the increase in harmful viruses, other malicious attacks and fraud targeting the handset's mobile secrets and continue building customer loyalty for the new data services available.
Traditionally, security in handsets has been handled in software and the baseband processor, which are inherently vulnerable to system attacks. By providing security in the same physical package as the memory, Spansion offers stronger protection when accessing the Flash memory and the valuable data and content stored there. MirrorBit solutions protected by Spansion Secure technology safeguard across multiple zones of memory -- such as separate, secured areas for the user, for the operator, for content rights objects and for the handset manufacturer -- with the potential to assign up to 16 zones. The solution is operating system and chipset independent, enabling handset designers to speed time to market and save on development costs. In addition, it enables direct server-to-memory authentication and secure channel communications similar to a VPN, enabling new business models for the enterprise with remote management of important data distribution.
"Device theft and fraud are growing issues that require improved solutions to protect important personal and financial information now stored on the mobile device," said Edo Ganot, executive vice president of business development at Discretix. "Spansion Secure Flash solutions are a crucial component of a robust security architecture, greatly increasing the integrity of the handset and enabling consumers to use their handsets with the confidence that their important financial, corporate and personal data is secure."
The MirrorBit solutions protected by Spansion Secure announced today will be offered to customers in a Spansion Multi Chip Package (MCP). Samples are available now with volume production targeted for the second half of 2007. Depending on the handset configuration, the Spansion MCP would include: Spansion MirrorBit NOR Flash memory, Spansion MirrorBit ORNAND(TM) Flash memory, Spansion 7000C Processor, pSRAM and/or DRAM.
"With handsets becoming personal media libraries, portable offices and digital wallets, the Spansion Secure approach will provide protected data storage and give users the confidence that their handsets are safe for important transactions," said George Minassian, vice president of strategic planning and systems engineering, Wireless Solutions Division, Spansion. "Spansion is delivering on its goal of adding more value through Flash memory solutions for our handset OEM customers and enabling enhanced revenue opportunities for operators and the banking community, by providing the industry's strongest mobile security with protection hardware-based encryption in handsets."
The MirrorBit MCP with Spansion Secure acts as a Trusted Execution Environment enabling domain separation and ensuring that critical data, code and security keys are never exposed. This is made possible with some of the most powerful security algorithms, including the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), a block cipher adopted as an encryption standard by the U.S. government; the Secure Hash Algorithms (SHA), cryptographic hash functions designed by the National Security Agency, including SHA-1 and SHA-2; RSA, an algorithm for public-key encryption; and a digital random number generator.
"By embracing many of the OMTP's current Trusted Environment requirements, Spansion Secure will be providing much of the enhanced security that network operators around the world are asking for," said Tim Raby, Managing Director of the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP). "By making security an integral part of open mobile phone experience, Spansion is enabling handset manufacturers and network operators to create greater confidence in and wider adoption of data services."