Infineon receives Innovation Award of German Industry for security technology “Integrity Guard”

Infineon Technologies

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Infineon Technologies have received the Innovation Award of German Industry for the best technological innovation. In the category of large-scale enterprises the prestigious award went to Infineon’s “Integrity Guard” security technology. This marked the third time Infineon has received this accolade. No other company in Germany has won the award more times in the last ten years than Infineon. Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG, was presented the award by Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, the Germany Federal Minister of Education and Research.

“Innovation is and has to be our DNA. Without chips there will be no progress, no electric cars, no smart grids and no security in the digital world,” said Peter Bauer, CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. “Innovation is the product of engineering ingenuity and innovation culture. This prestigious innovation award shows that Infineon has both. It confirms the innovation performance of our engineers to whom I extend my warm thanks.”

Infineon developed the security technology “Integrity Guard” to deliver an especially high level of long-lasting protection for sensitive data in applications such as credit cards and electronic government identification documents, e.g. passports or ID cards. Conventional security chips will soon no longer live up to the demands of these applications. While they store data in encrypted form, the data is decrypted for processing and that exposes it to hacker attacks. With “Integrity Guard” sensitive information remains encrypted during transmission and processing. Even if data might be intercepted, the encrypted signals are of no use to eavesdropping hackers.

In addition to full on-chip encryption along the entire data path (CPUs, EEPROM, Flash, ROM and RAM, caches and buses), Infineon’s security chips with “Integrity Guard” have two central processing units (CPUs) and a sophisticated error detection system. The two CPUs cross-check each other continuously and detect whether arithmetic operations are executed correctly or an attack has been launched. If the security controller detects an error or an attempted attack, protective action is taken. The respective operation is aborted, for example.

The SLE 78 product family using the “Integrity Guard” security technology received all important certifications necessary for use in government and payment applications. The Germany Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) certified the high standard of security achieved by Infineon and granted the internationally recognized EAL 5+ (high) certificate according to the Common Criteria Scheme. For use in payment cards, SLE 78 products received approvals according to the international standard EMVCo (Europay International, Mastercard, Visa) and the German payment scheme ZKA (Zentraler Kreditausschuss).

Developments for “Integrity Guard” were sponsored by the Germany Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The “Integrity Guard” was invented in Munich, Germany. SLE 78 products with “Integrity Guard” were mainly developed in Munich and Graz, Austria. The SLE 78 chips are produced in Dresden, Germany, and are planned to be manufactured also in Burlington, Vermont, USA.

The Innovation Award of German Industry has been conferred since 1980. The award annually honors the nation’s three outstanding scientific and technical achievements in the categories of large-scale enterprises, medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.

Infineon’s pioneering ingenuity in energy efficiency, mobility and security is significant. Within the last decade, Infineon was three times awarded with the Innovation Award of German Industry. Infineon previously won the innovation award in 2001 for its achievements in energy efficiency and in 2008 in the mobility sector, and now with “Integrity Guard” for its security expertise. In 2001 the award paid recognition to the company’s CoolMOS family of power semiconductors that deliver new system approaches to power supplies, e.g. in PCs, laptops and chargers for mobile applications, and to the company’s IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) product family that delivers innovative motor control solutions for household appliances, air conditioning systems and industrial applications. In 2008 Infineon received the award for a chip that provides practically all the functions of a simple mobile phone and incorporates all the fundamental components such as baseband processor, transceiver, power management and memory functions on a footprint of only 8 mm by 8 mm.

Check out the movie on Integrity Guard here

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