Lattice Semiconductor today announced the Mach XO3D FPGA, for securing systems against a variety of threats. Unsecured systems can lead to data and design theft, product cloning and overbuilding, and device tampering or hijacking. With MachXO3D, OEMs can simplify the implementation of robust, comprehensive and flexible hardware-based security for all system components. Mach XO3D can protect, detect and recover itself and other components from unauthorised firmware access at every stage of a system’s lifecycle, from the point of manufacturing, all the way to the system’s end of life.

Component firmware is an increasingly popular attack vector for cyberattacks. In 2018, security vulnerabilities rendered over 3 billion chips vulnerable to data theft, in systems of all types, via the exploitation of firmware vulnerabilities. Unsecured firmware also exposes OEMs to the financial and brand reputation risks associated with device hijacking (for use in DDoS attacks) and device tampering or destruction. Failure to address these risks can negatively impact a company’s reputation and financial performance.

Patrick Moorhead, president and founder of Moor Insights & Strategy, said, “Compromised firmware is particularly insidious, as it not only leaves user data vulnerable, but can also make systems permanently inoperable, disrupting the user experience and exposing OEMs to liability. FPGAs provide a compelling hardware platform choice for securing system firmware, as they’re able to perform multiple functions in parallel, making them much faster at identifying and responding to unauthorised firmware when detected.”

Enter the Mach XO3D FPGA. When used to implement system control functions, Mach XO3 FPGA devices are typically the “first on/last off” component on circuit boards. By integrating security and system control functions, the Mach XO3D becomes the first link in the chain of trust that protects entire systems. With support for up to 2,700 Kbits of user Flash memory and an embedded security black that provides pre-verified hardware support for cryptographic functions such as ECC, AES and Unique Secure ID, the Mach XO3D aims to guard data from the kind of breaches that have populated the news consistently, in recent years.

“System developers commonly take advantage of FPGA flexibility to enhance system functions after deployment,” said Gordon Hands, director of product marketing at Lattice Semiconductor: “With Mach XO3D, we took care to retain that flexibility, while adding a secure configuration block to deliver the industry’s first control-oriented FPGA, compliant with NIST’s Platform Firmware Resilience specification.”

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