Athena and Intrinsic-ID Team to Deliver the Dragon-QT Security Processor Offering Flexible, Scalable Security for Hardware Root of Trust Applications


GAINESVILLE, FL and SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Jan 29, 2015) - The Athena Group, Inc. (Athena), a leading provider of embedded security microprocessors, and Intrinsic-ID BV, a leading provider of embedded security solutions based on physically unclonable functions (PUFs), today announced they are teaming to introduce the Dragon-QT™, a new class of cryptography microprocessor IP cores that deliver strong and scalable security based on a hardware root of trust. Dragon-QT is designed to prevent data theft across an extensive array of applications and devices -- from IoT to government, and from tiny wearables to smart meters, medical devices, and traffic lights.

The new Dragon-QT security processor integrates Intrinsic-ID's Quiddikey®-Flex secure key management technology with Athena's TeraFire® F5200 compact cryptography microprocessor to deliver an unprecedented security solution. Quiddikey's patented PUF technology, Hardware Intrinsic Security™ (HIS), protects the keys from loss during storage while the advanced security architecture and features of the TeraFire cryptography microprocessor protect the keys from loss during use. The Dragon-QT provides a wide range of services, including public key cryptography, elliptic curve cryptography, encryption, hashing, authentication, random number generation, and hands-off key management.

In a world with billions of smart connected devices, secure and scalable solutions are critical. Data theft most often occurs when devices are either physically accessible or connected to the Internet. Dragon-QT's ability to depend fully on the device itself, to establish and reliably answer identity challenges, provides these devices with a strong degree of security. Furthermore, Dragon-QT's reliable, unclonable, and unique identity and root-of-trust for each device greatly simplifies field provisioning and key management.

"We have always recognized that securing the key is an essential part of a comprehensive security solution," said Pim Tuyls, CEO of Intrinsic-ID. "Introducing an embedded security processor that integrates the advanced technology and countermeasures offered by Athena's TeraFire compact cryptography microprocessor provides a compelling opportunity for us to extend our protection sphere well beyond key storage. This allows us to leverage the unique benefits of our technology for key storage, key management, and cryptographic processing."

The Dragon-QT processor performs all cryptographic operations without ever exposing the keys to the host application processor. With hands-off key management, the Dragon-QT processor prevents loss of keys when the host application processor is compromised. Using the integrated key wrap and unwrap facility, the Dragon-QT processor can store an essentially unlimited number of application keys without requiring vulnerable key storage memory such as battery-backed RAM.

For devices that require anti-tamper defense against attacks such as differential power analysis (DPA), Dragon-QT can be equipped with SCA countermeasures. DPA attacks exploit variations in the electrical power consumption or RF emissions to retrieve cryptographic keys from targeted devices: attacks on cell phones have been demonstrated at a range of 30 feet. Dragon-QT's advanced SCA countermeasures were developed under license from Cryptography Research, Inc. (CRI), which holds an extensive portfolio of patents covering countermeasures to DPA attacks.

"Athena's customers have always asked for both secure processing and secure key storage," said Monica Murphy, CEO of Athena. "The Quiddikey-Flex technology from Intrinsic-ID is an extremely effective solution for key storage security. Dragon-QT's integration of Quiddikey-Flex with our TeraFire scalable embedded cryptography microprocessor family enables sophisticated, secure, and flexible solutions that deliver strong security. We are excited to team with Intrinsic-ID and offer such a powerful and deeply integrated solution to our customers."

Intrinsic-ID's Quiddikey-Flex is a secure key management solution that provides an innovative anti-tamper solution for root-of-trust key protection. It dynamically reconstructs on-chip secret keys without ever storing those keys. This means that the keys are not present on the device when it is powered off, but generated only when needed, on-demand, using device-unique PUFs. Quiddikey-Flex makes use of the unique device fingerprint originating from deep submicron manufacturing process variations. It defeats the most advanced invasive hardware attacks on the key itself by simply not storing the key. It is also able to extract a unique and unclonable identifier from any device, greatly simplifying key management and distribution.

Athena's TeraFire F5200 cryptography microprocessors deliver unprecedented cryptographic performance with an extremely small area footprint. These fast, efficient, and compact processors can be configured for nearly any cryptographic operation, with options that include AES, SHA, elliptic curve cryptography, public key cryptography, an advanced true random number generator, SCA countermeasures, and more. The TeraFire F5200 microprocessors are the world's smallest single core solution when configured for Suite B cryptography and deliver unprecedented power efficiency when configured for IoT.

About Intrinsic-ID
Intrinsic-ID is the world-wide leader in security IP cores and applications based on patented Hardware Intrinsic Security™ technology (HIS), also referred to as a "Physical Unclonable Function". In HIS, secret keys are extracted from the properties of chips like an 'electronic fingerprint' and used to offer a total protection of sensitive private and corporate data on mobile devices, embedded systems and in the cloud. Intrinsic-ID's wide range of security solutions serves security applications in the following markets: Embedded systems, IoT, Identification, automotive, communications, content distribution, pay TV, government and defense. Intrinsic-ID is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and has sales offices in San Jose, Tokyo and Seoul.

About The Athena Group, Inc.

Athena is a leading provider of security, cryptography, anti-tamper, and signal processing IP cores to many of the world's largest semiconductor companies, defense contractors, and OEMs, as well as emerging providers. Embedded in millions of ASIC and FPGA devices, Athena technologies enable high-value solutions where security and performance are mission critical -- defense and aerospace, vehicle safety (V2V, V2X, telematics), networking and communications, satellites, cellular base stations, handsets, the Internet of Things (IoT), and more.

Athena's innovative and experienced team architects best-in-class products: security microprocessors with unmatched hardware efficiency and programmable flexibility, dedicated accelerators for cryptography and security protocols, a comprehensive set of tamper-resistant security cores with SCA/DPA countermeasures developed under license from Rambus' Cryptography Research division, highly optimized FFTs and signal processing cores for communications applications, and related technologies. For more information, visit


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Pat Rugg
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November 14, 2013

Athena Vice President to Speak at 2013 SemIsrael Conference

Pat Rugg to Present High Performance Security and Signal Processing

Gainesville, FL- November 14, 2013 - The Athena Group, Inc., the worldwide leader in high-performance public key and elliptic curve cryptography, today announced that Pat Rugg, Athena´s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, will be a featured speaker at the SemIsrael Conference being held November 18 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Rugg will present “Silicon-Proven IP Cores for Next-Generation Security and Wireless SoCs” at 13:40 on the IP and Cores track.

“Next-generation SoCs require next-generation IP not only to capture the requisite functionality, but in order to compete in the marketplace,” said Pat Rugg. “SoC designs are not only exploding in complexity, but also in the array of technologies required. Competition dictates that IP solutions, for both security and communications, will be fundamental to product differentiation and relied upon for product success.”

Drawing on decades of market experience, Rugg will discuss how achieving system-level security now requires advanced solutions for protection of both data at rest and data in motion, both on and off the SoC. While security was once required only for military and financial systems, the investment in today´s SoCs, both in software and in hardware, mandates that commercial systems of every type invest in protection of their IP embodied in that software and hardware.

About SemIsrael Expo and Conference 2013
SemIsrael Expo 2013 is the #1 Professional Semiconductor Event in Israel. The event brings together hundreds of Israeli semiconductor professionals from all fields and aspects of the semiconductor industry. The Expo will host over 1,000 semiconductor professionals from all the Israeli semiconductor community: local fabless & startups, local R&D offices of multinationals and IDMs, foundries, design houses, labs, and universities.

Athena´s TeraFire® Security Accelerator Cores
With a complete family of security IP cores and software and multiple levels of performance for every function, Athena supports your product succession strategy. TeraFire cores have been delivered in technologies ranging from FPGAs to ASICs, ready for integration into your product. Whether your next application is a low speed data terminal or a high performance network security appliance, Athena is ready to help you analyze your security hardware requirements and customize a package of functions for your specific application.

About The Athena Group, Inc.
For over 25 years, Athena´s leading-edge security and signal processing intellectual property (IP) cores have set the standard in overall performance, efficiency, and silicon area. Today, Athena offers a broad portfolio of solutions, from ciphers to security microprocessors, and from transforms to high performance FFT arrays. When your project needs world-class FPGA or ASIC technology, talk to Athena.

Athena was founded in 1986 and is privately held.
For more information, please visit

Press Contact
Pat Rugg, VP Sales and Marketing
The Athena Group, Inc.
408 W. University Avenue, Suite 306
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: (352) 371-2567 ext. 307
Toll-free: (800) 741-7440