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Broadcom's SoC Integrates NFC, Secure Processor and Biometric Functions on a Single Chip

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Broadcom's SoC Integrates NFC, Secure Processor and Biometric Functions on a Single Chip
May 31, 2011
By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor


To deliver cross-platform, standards-based security solution, wireless semiconductor supplier Broadcom (News - Alert) Corp. has expanded its security system-on-a-chip (SoC) family with the addition of two new integrated chips, BCM5882 and BCM5883. The supplier said that the new SoCs provide PC OEMs with a security solution that is both scalable and cost-effective.

In fact, the new SoCs come with integrated near field communication (NFC) technology, a secure processor and biometric capabilities all on a single chip. As a result, using a multi-factor, multi-choice authentication and data protection process, the new SoCs isolate user authentication from the host computing system, said the maker.

Besides allowing the IT managers to leverage the cost-effective security platform across a variety of computer product families, the new SoCs also permits netbooks and tablets to exploit NFC technology for payments, virtual currency transactions, advertising and other such business deals.

According to Broadcom, with the rise in enterprise network security breaches and increasing concerns related to social media sites and data stored in the cloud, security experts, suppliers and service providers alike see the need to improve network security. Keeping this in mind, the Broadcom has developed Credential Vault, a feature at the core of the SoC chip, where user and device keys and credentials are securely stored. The hardware-based authentication provided by the SoC can be directly linked to data access on self-encrypting hard drives (SED). Thus, offering an additional layer of security for critical user data, said the manufacturer.

Similarly, technologies such as cloud computing also require repeated authentication throughout the work day. By eliminating the need for repeated log in and authentication through enterprise-class single sign-on, the secure SoCs ease the use of cloud computing applications, the supplier said. In the workplace, each secure SoC has a unique device-specific key which can serve as a root of trust to generate device and user-based certificates, added Broadcom.

These certificates enable a secure work flow environment through the use of digital signatures in documents, email, VPN access, and digital rights management (DRM) applications, Broadcom said. The latest secure SoC solutions are being demonstrated at this week’s 2011 Computex conference and exposition in Taiwan.

Also, at the Computex show, Broadcom said that NFC wireless technology will be a main revenue driver in coming years, as paying by mobile handsets becomes mainstream process.

In a statement, Chuck Tato, Broadcom’s director of Connectivity, Processor (News - Alert) and Security Solutions said, “The frequency and cost of data breaches continue to rise, fueling demand for more secure solutions. Our latest secure SoCs provide a flexible solution for increased security throughout enterprise and cloud networking applications. By delivering all necessary functionality on a single host-isolated device, IT managers can secure data literally at the ‘front door’ of the system.”  

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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