Free Newsletter

  • Which training workshop is of most value to your organisation?
  • Preparing your business for the Internet of Things
  • The Internet of Things and Cloud computing
  • Radio technologies for connecting the Internet of Things
  • Smart Cities and intelligent infrastructure
  • WebRTC and the end of the telco
Meet the leaders of the mobile app economy ? Open Mobile Summit, London, June 8-9
Navigation Strategies Europe 2011
ITU Telecom World, 24-27 October 2011 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland
Ubiquitous Location and Positioning Technology, 6th-7th December 2011, Chicago
Advertize your telecoms job

Broadcom says Crypto code is old hat - but it's not


Published: 22 September, 2011


A few weeks back we told you about how Cryptography Research (CRI) has managed to get its CryptoFirewall onto two of most famous set top chips, those from Broadcom and from ST Micro and then everyone at IBC (Europe's biggest broadcaster conference) kept teasing us that this achievement was no big deal.

Broadcom even went so far as to say that it has had 85 different security blocks on its chips and that they come and go. We scratched our heads and talked to a few others specialists at the show, and went back to CRI, who after all has had some of its piracy countermeasures included on 5 billion chips and smartcards.

What we found is that there are quite a few hardware sub-blocks involved in Broadcom System on a Chip (SoC) security areas, these just don't do what the CRI logic does, both technically or in terms of what it means to the market.

Other security blocks are often encryption accelerators for AES, 3DES, DVB encryption because software can't keep up with video decryption. But this doesn't make the chip secure. It makes it faster. And there are a number of proprietary bits of security logic placed there by major conditional access providers such as NDS and Nagra. But these only protect a single system and are proprietary and no-one else can trigger them except those companies. And ask yourself, if these were as powerful as smart cards why would those two companies still push smart cards?

What the CRI engine does is allow all of the set top SoC chips to offer the same smart card-like features to any set top maker, using any DRM, on any operating system. So operators can have access to it without choosing a proprietary system. That's what we found significant, and what will undermine conditional access lock-ins everywhere - at least on set tops. (See the rest of this story at

Related Stories


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    European Carrier Mobile Broadband Network Performance

    Analysing and comparing the data speed, latency, network quality and smartphone penetration for 94 mobile carriers in 28 European countries....

    Next Generation Haptics: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth study of the growing popularity of haptics-enabled tactile feedback on mobile devices to augment UI interactions and enrich...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *