Stratix II Military Anti-Tampering Solution

In an era of ever-increasing security concerns, the Altera® Enhanced COTS Strategy provides military application designers with Stratix® II and Stratix II GX FPGAs featuring a built-in configuration bitstream encryption (shown in Figure 1). In addition to high density, high performance, low development risk, long lifetimes and lead package support, Stratix II and Stratix II GX FPGAs also deliver a secure approach for protecting designs against copying, reverse engineering and tampering.

Figure 1. Anti-Tampering with Configuration Bitstream Encryption

The following are some of the key features of the Stratix II and Stratix II GX anti-tampering solution:

  • Non-volatile encryption key storage (no battery back-up required)
  • 128-bit AES encryption
  • FIPS-197 certified
  • In–field key programming

The encryption key is stored securely inside the FPGA. Many security techniques have been implemented to make the solution secure. In addition, read back of any configuration file, regardless of encrypted or unencrypted, is not permitted in Stratix II or Stratix II GX FPGAs, adding another layer of security.

Altera Anti-tampering Solution Applications

Military applications are becoming increasingly complex. Major programs such as Future Combat Systems (FCS), Joint Strike Fighter F-35 (JSF) and the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) are pushing technological capabilities on all fronts to their limits. Due to the environments in which they are exposed, the electronics in these systems are relying on programmable logic and FPGAs to provide extreme flexibility plus protection from tampering -- all at a reasonable cost without giving up requisite computational power.

  • Missiles and Munitions: With the non-volatility encryption key storage in Stratix II and Stratix II GX devices, there is no need to continuously monitor battery life to meet the long shelf life required by these applications
  • Electronic Warfare: The non-volatile encryption key storage is ideal in these applications where space is limited, where low maintenance is required, and where there is a reluctance to add an additional component with chemical content such as a battery
  • Secure Communication: With the need to secure communication in the battle field, the configuration bitstream encryption of Stratix II and Stratix II GX devices provides an additional security level above and beyond current methods used in Type 1 and Type 3 applications
  • Remote Sensors and Surveillance: The ability of Altera FPGAs to protect critical IP is important for applications that are exposed to hostile environments throughout the battle field

Contact Altera for More Information

Altera has implemented many security techniques to make the Stratix II and Stratix II GX anti-tampering solution robust. This information can only be provided under NDA (non-disclosure agreement). For more information on the Stratix II and Stratix II GX anti-tampering solution, and to obtain a copy of AN341 Using The Design Security Feature in Stratix II Devices, please contact your local Altera sales representative.