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Maxim Integrated DS28E38 DeepCover Secure ECDSA Authenticator

Maxim's DS28E38 Deep Cover Secure ECDSA Authenticators integrate Maxim's ChipDNA PUF technology and offer robust, effective protection against security attacks. They're ideal for medical sensors and tools, IoT nodes, peripherals, and consumables.

To understand the need for security, look no further than recent stories about large-scale attacks that have used compromised IoT devices as their botnets. This is because many developers view security as being complicated or expensive, and so, you have a lot of connected devices that are often left with minimal software-based security—or no security at all. And with projections for 50 billion connected devices by 2020, security will be increasingly critical.

The DS28E38 provides a set of cryptographic tools and capabilities that allow developers to easily identify, authenticate, and manage the use of peripherals and other devices. First is ChipDNA PUF technology, with PUF standing for physically unclonable function. ChipDNA generates a unique key based on precise analog characteristics of the IC. That key is guaranteed to be unique by the circuit design and the natural variation that occurs in manufacturing, and the key is generated on demand so it never exists in a static register or other on-chip storage. And because the key is based on the characteristics of the IC, any physically invasive methods or probing will inherently alter those characteristics—and therefore alter the key that is generated. The DS28E38 is immune to all known invasive attack tools and capabilities.

As for the cryptographic toolset, the DS28E38 includes a FIPS 186-compliant ECDSA P256 signature for Challenge/Response authentication, as well as multiple options for ECDSA public/private key-pair sources. These include ChipDNA generated, chip-computed, and user-installed. There's also a NIST-compliant true random number generator and a 17-bit, one-time-settable, nonvolatile decrement-only counter with an authenticated read.

The DS28E38 is packed in a six-pin TDFN-EP package and uses a 1-Wire® bus for communication and parasitically powers the device. Onboard, there's a 64-bit unique, unalterable, factory-set ROM ID which is used as an input to crypto functions as well as the 1-Wire node address.

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