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Cryptech moving towards the Alpha board

Joachim Strömbergson

Assured is involved in the Cryptech HSM project. This is a short blog post about some of the latest activities and ongoing work in the project.

The Cryptech HSM project is currently using the Novena as the platform. The Novena is a very nice, open platform that allows us to work in a Linux based environment. After some struggles there is now a working high speed, low latency interface between the CPU and the FPGA on the Novena. This allows us to start using the Cryptech cores as coprocessors from SW running on the main CPU. This means that we can start doing some real work with Cryptech as a HSM (Hardware Security Module).

The random number generator has been extensively tested the last months. And the results indicates that we have two really good entropy sources that drives a CSPRNG chain capable of delivering high quality random numbers at very high data rates.

The next step for Cryptech on the Novena is to get all functionality for our first major use cases up and running. This includes RSA as well as ECDSA sign and verify. We also need to get the P#11 API working to allow applications to use the HSM. This will be done on the Novena. See the Dashboard for more information about status and the use cases and functionality we will deliver in short term.

In parallel with this work we are also moving forward with the first custom designed platform - the Alpha Board. This board is closely related to the Novena, but with a lot less appliances. The board also sports a MUCH bigger FPGA and an even faster interface between the FPGA and the CPU. This board also includes functionality needed to start develop real active tamper detection and protection mechanisms.

The Cryptech Alpha board functional block diagram.

The Cryptech Alpha board functional block diagram.