EnSilica launches cryptographic IP for standards-compliant V2X communications

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A leading independent provider of semiconductor systems has launched a new cryptographic IP (Intellectual Property) core that is designed to help meet the high security communication and latency requirements of automotive vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) applications that will increasingly form part of emerging intelligent transport systems.

UK-based EnSilica’s eSi-ECDSA cryptographic IP is fully compliant with the IEEE 1609.2 and ETSI TS 103 97 standards. These standards define the security layers in the V2X connected car communication protocols where cryptographic algorithms are the primary tools used to safeguard against information security risks, such as message confidentiality, integrity, availability and authenticity. In particular, the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) is specified for message authentication, the Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) for asymmetric encryption, and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for symmetric encryption.

EnSilica’s eSi-ECDSA is an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) acceleration core that has been specifically designed to deliver the high level of message-signature verifications required by V2X ECDSA message authentication, where practical requirements range between 400 to 4,000 verifications per second, depending on the message beaconing rate (1Hz to 10Hz), and expected worst case vehicle densities on the road. This overcomes the slow verification rates of traditional embedded software cryptographic algorithm implementations, which typically only deliver message-signature verifications in the order of 10’s per second. eSi-ECDSA achieves this by off-loading the ECDSA signing and verification operations so that the processor is only required to load and read back results via an APB or AHB interface.

In addition, the eSi-ECDSA core features a range of lower level ECC operations that allow the acceleration of ECIES asymmetric encryption; flexible real-time key selection; support for all commonly standardized curves, such as NIST, SEC2 and Brainpool; and resistance against timing/power analysis attacks.

“With safety dependent on the underlying communication security of today’s emerging V2X applications, the performance demands being placed on the prescribed cryptographic algorithms far outweigh the capabilities of traditional embedded software implementations,” explained Ian Lankshear, CEO of EnSilica. “As an ASIC acceleration core that off-loads the arithmetic intensive tasks from the main processor, our eSi-ECDSA cryptographic IP has been designed to easily meet the practical performance requirements demanded by V2X message authentication.” 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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