Crypto-Module for Disk Drives First to Meet Strictest Requirements

Pending FIPS 140-2 Level-3-Certified Crypto-Module for Integration in System-on-Chip Designs Raises the Bar in Secure Data Storage

GENEVA, Dec. 3 -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM), one of the world's largest semiconductor suppliers and a leader in complex System-on-Chip (SoC) solutions for disk drives, has enabled a substantial advance in the security of data stored on Hard Disk Drives by becoming the first vendor of Secure HDD System-on-Chip IP to be listed on the US National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST) Pre-Validation list for FIPS 140-2 Level 3. ST's silicon-validated HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module technology is now available for integration into secure HDD SoC devices.

The Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 is a U.S. Government standard that specifies requirements for cryptographic modules. Initially developed for use by US Government departments and agencies, FIPS 140-2 is growing in importance both nationally and internationally and is the model for the International Security Standard ISO 19790 currently being developed.

The growing importance of FIPS 140-2 and ISO 19790 is the result of the increasing damages to individuals and business resulting from disclosure of sensitive and confidential information and the proliferation of new laws that require enhanced security and privacy while raising the legal and financial stakes for enterprises that fail to meet the standards.

"This groundbreaking certification defines the start of a new era that raises HDD data security to the state where rigorous testing by independent government-approved laboratories delivers validation, based upon conformance to a national or international security standard," said Vittorio Peduto, ST's General Manager of Data Storage. "ST has a long history of providing best-in- class security solutions to our customers, illustrated by our strong positions in the supply of Trusted Platform Modules, Smart Cards and secure features in Set Top Box systems. We are now able to bring this depth of expertise to the secure HDD market."

This latest step in HDD security is made possible by the embedding of ST's HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module technology within a state-of-the-art HDD System- on-Chip. A key feature of the HardCache-SL3 Crypto-Module is the separation of secure functions from standard drive operations. A secure boundary is well defined around the HardCache-SL3 IP which has at its core an efficient proprietary RISC processor optimized for security. The RISC processor provides the programmability required to rapidly adapt to evolving security protocols.

Coupled closely to the processor core are a suite of hardwired crypto- functions that ensure high performance, reduced power consumption and hidden execution. These functions include FIPS defined algorithms such as AES 256 for encryption and decryption, HMAC-SHA-1 and SHA-256 for hashing and numerous others.

The core architecture of HardCache-SL3 is targeted for application across all major HDD market segments, including Mobile, Desktop and Enterprise. By using the same pre-validated crypto-module for all secure HDD SoCs, ST enables its customers to achieve faster time to market, faster and lower cost FIPS 140-2 certification, the flexibility to carry the same technology across numerous market segments and the ability to keep pace with the increasing requirements of the secure market, as well as the cost benefits of SoC integration.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company's net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million. Further information on ST can be found at

Source: STMicroelectronics


Michael Markowitz

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