Flash Memory-Based Security for Handsets Protects Against Viruses, Attacks and Enables New Functionality
SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 19 / Spansion Inc. (NASDAQ:SPSN), the world's largest pure-play provider of Flash memory solutions, today unveiled its plans to bring new levels of security to wireless handsets through the industry's first security technology implemented directly within the embedded Flash memory subsystem. With Spansion secure Flash memory subsystems, handset manufacturers can ensure tamper protection against viruses and attacks, while enabling new device functionality and enhanced business models for operators. Spansion's new memory-based security for mobile handsets has been specifically designed to protect valuable consumer data, content and code for all segments of the handset market.
Spansion's innovative approach to mobile security integrates a range of encryption, authentication, random number generation and other security features on a mobile security chip that will be packaged within the Flash memory subsystem. This new level of security will provide protection against viruses and attacks, deter device and service theft, as well as enable new functionality, such as data recovery, secure mobile financial transactions and secure access control. Spansion sees opportunities to apply similar security capabilities to other embedded markets in the future, including automotive and set-top box solutions.
New and enhanced handset applications enabled by Spansion secure Flash memory include:
o Virus recovery capabilities which preserve the handset operating system, functionality and data in the event that a virus has infected the phone;
o Contactless payments for making a purchase using a cell phone instead of a credit card by providing secure data storage and secure communication protocols for the mobile commerce transaction;
o Protection of handsets with SIM lock and device management capabilities that render phones useless to thieves if stolen;
o Secure access control for use of a cell phone instead of a key for activities such as opening a car door, starting a car or opening a house door;
o Secure transactions for accessing corporate databases through user authentication and protected key storage.
"Bringing an advanced, tamper-proof level of security to the handset demonstrates Spansion's commitment to adding value through Flash memory solutions that benefit operators, content providers, handset manufacturers and end users," said Amir Mashkoori, executive vice president, Wireless Solutions Division, Spansion. "As more m-commerce and content applications become available, our mobile security approach will provide secure data storage and give consumers the confidence to use their handsets for important financial transactions and downloading digital media -- opening up enhanced revenue opportunities for wireless operators and content providers."
Traditionally, security protection in electronic devices has been handled in software, which is inherently vulnerable to attacks. Spansion's secure Flash memory technology offers hardware protection across multiple protected zones of memory -- such as separate, secured areas for the user, for the operator, for content rights objects and for the handset manufacturer. The solution can be used for low-to high-end phones and is OS and chipset independent, enabling handset designers to speed time to market and save on development costs.
A member of the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP), Spansion expects its security solutions to protect handsets with the highest level of protection in compliance with OMTP, Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) and Trusted Computing Group (TCG) as standards become available.
"As the mobile handset evolves into more of a digital wallet and entertainment device, mobile operators require increasingly improved handset security," said Clare Hirst, principal analyst, semiconductor research at Gartner. "With the growth of device theft and credit card fraud, handset users and operators are now looking for enhanced capabilities to secure important financial, enterprise and personal content on their handsets."
Spansion's secure Flash memory technology will be offered to customers as a discrete security controller in a Spansion Multi Chip Package (MCP). Depending on the handset configuration, the Spansion MCP would also include: Spansion MirrorBit® NOR Flash, Spansion MirrorBit ORNAND(TM) solutions, pSRAM or DRAM. A Software Development Kit (SDK) to aid the design process will sample in early Q4 2006 and fully integrated MCPs will sample in the first half of 2007.
Spansion is dedicated to developing secure Flash memory solutions for the handset market that bring high levels of security to all critical memory subsystems. Earlier this year, Spansion announced its plans to develop the MirrorBit HD-SIM(TM) solution, a new class of secure, high capacity SIM card chips, targeted to SIM card manufacturers for secure distribution and storage of mobile content.
Spansion is a leading Flash memory solutions provider, dedicated to enabling, storing and protecting digital content in the wireless, automotive, networking and consumer electronics markets. Spansion, previously a joint venture of AMD and Fujitsu, is the largest company in the world dedicated exclusively to developing, designing, and manufacturing Flash memory products and systems. For more information, visit www.spansion.com.
Source: Spansion Inc.
CONTACT: Courtney Brigham of Spansion Public Relations, +1-408-616-5056, or email@example.com
Web site: www.spansion.com/