A highly cost-effective fixed-secret hash engine, suitable for protection against unapproved third-party products for a wide variety of low-cost applications, has been announced by Intersil.

A counterfeit prevention solution utilising the device offers safety and revenue protection at the lowest cost and power. The ISL9206 provides a fast and flexible authentication process, and multi-pass authentication can be used to provide the highest possible security level. Authentication is achieved through a challenge-response scheme that does not require a fixed challenge and therefore eliminates situations where eavesdropping on the communication bus could reveal the secrets. The ‘unique’ secret is never communicated between the host and the device being authenticated, says the company.

The ISL9206 is seen as ideal for use in systems such as mobile phones, printer cartridges, power tools, and medical devices that require active authentication to protect consumers against fraud and to protect intellectual property. Mobile phones utilising Lithium-based batteries are particularly vulnerable to counterfeit batteries and the ISL9206 will help to identify counterfeit batteries so the system can take appropriate action. The ISL9206 is based on Intersil’s second generation FlexiHash technology. It has a wide operating voltage range and is suitable for direct powering from a 1-cell Li-ion/Li-poly or a 3-cell series NiMH battery pack. Higher cell count/voltage packs are also supported by connecting to the lowest cell in the stack.

Communication with the host is achieved through a single-wire XSD interface, a lightweight subset of the company’s ISD bus interface. The XSD bus is compatible for use with serial ports offered by all 8250-compatible UARTs or a single GPIO (general purpose input and output) pin of a microprocessor. The ISL9206 can be powered by the XSD bus when the bus pull-up voltage is 3.3V or higher. The device connects directly to the cell terminals of a battery pack and includes an on-chip voltage regulation circuit, POR, and a non-crystal based oscillator for bus timing reference.

Key features of the ISL9206 include a challenge-response based authentication scheme using 32-bit challenge code and 8-bit authentication code, and a 16 x 8 OTP ROM stores up to three sets of 32-bit host-selectable secrets with additional programmable memory for storage of up to 48 bits of ID code and/or pack information.

The device’s FlexiHash engine uses two sets of 32-bit secrets for authentication code generation, and its non-unique mapping of the secret key to an 8-bit authentication code maximises hacking difficulty due to need for exhaustive key search.

The ISL9206 supports CRC on read data and transfer bit-rate up to 23kbps. It offers a true ‘zero power’ sleep mode – automatically entered after a bus inactivity time-out period, and a wide, -20C to +85C operating temperature range is covered.

Target applications include mobile phone battery pack authentication, printer and toner cartridges, high-power battery packs for power tools, mobility products, diagnostic equipment, add-on accessories, and other non-monetary authentication applications.

The ISL9206 is available in a 5-lead SOT-23 or a 6 lead 2 x 3 TDFN package. Pb-free plus anneal is also available (RoHS compliant), says the company.

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