Connect One Debuts iChipSec CO2128 Secure IP Communication Controller

Connect One(TM), the Device Networking Authority(TM), today announced the planned release in January, 2007 of iChipSec(TM) CO2128, a secure Internet Protocol (IP) communication controller chip that reduces the cost and speeds the design of new IP-enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The chip also includes many hardware enhancements that ensure high-throughput by offloading IP and network security protocols from the host processor.

With over 1,000,000 iChips deployed in more than 50 countries—many of them installed in POS terminals—POS terminal manufacturers can eliminate the learning curve for deploying reliable IP-enabled terminals with CO2128. Its tightly integrated ARM7 core processor, RTOS, security and networking protocol stack ensure efficient and secure high-speed transaction processing. For high bandwidth applications like video streaming, CO2128′s high-speed parallel interface supports 32 Mbps with UDP/IP hardware acceleration. Data encryption/decryption also is accelerated in hardware, which tremendously reduces SSL3 transaction processing.

iChipSec can act as a router among LAN, WiFi and modem platforms, as it includes a NAT (Network Address Translation) and port forwarding functionality. This allows a payment terminal to serve as an access point or gateway for other terminals connected to it, helping to reduce infrastructure cost and enhance network security.

CO2128 reduces the bill-of-materials to embed secure network connectivity by including a 10/100BaseT Ethernet MAC, which permits manufacturers to save several dollars by connecting to an Ethernet PHY chip instead of a more expensive MAC/PHY. CO2128 also includes USB v.2.0 full-speed host and device interfaces, enabling the use of the newest WiFi chipsets and other USB peripherals. The 128-pin chip also boasts a high-speed parallel bus that delivers over 32- Mbps throughput, allowing next-generation POS terminals to display high-quality video advertisements to the customer at the point-of-sale.

An optional V.32bis soft modem saves terminal manufacturers several dollars by eliminating their current wired modem. This feature ensures backward compatibility with existing PSTN applications and provides an economical dial-up back-up channel for LAN models. New firmware can be loaded into iChipSec’s memory in order to activate the soft modem if the terminal cannot connect to the LAN.

iChip’s firmware boots and runs from shared or dedicated flash. Shared memory is accessible via UART, parallel, two-wire, or USB interfaces. Dedicated flash can be connected via the external bus interface (EBI) or SPI. Other communication peripherals are accessible via USB, EBI, two-wire, SPI or UART interfaces. The chip includes 256KB of SRAM.

CO2128 supports a wide range of Internet protocols and communication drivers for moving data over 10/100BaseT LANs, 802.11b/g WiFi, cellular and dial-up networks. It supports up to 10 simultaneous TCP and UDP sockets, permitting the terminal to connect to multiple servers concurrently; two TCP listening sockets that enable it to act as a server; SMTP, POP3, MIME, HTTP, FTP and Telnet clients; and a Web server hosting one Web site for configuring iChipSec and one for the application. Firmware is provided by Connect One in “flavors” that load from external flash and run from iChipSec’s SRAM. The firmware also can be downloaded from the host CPU directly into the SRAM. Each flavor is a unique combination of protocols, communication drivers, and optional features. Connect One will offer several firmware flavors.

The logical interface between the host application and iChipSec is Connect One’s AT+i(TM) Protocol, a high-level API that enables fast and easy implementation and maintenance of the security and Internet protocols. AT+i requires no Internet programming expertise on the part of the designer and minimum modification of the host application. AT+i’s SerialNET(TM) plug-and-play operating mode enables serial-to-Internet full-duplex routing without any changes to the host application.

iChipSec uses the SSL3/TLS1 protocol to support a secure socket or FTP session using RSA Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Cipher suites used for encryption include 3DES, AES-128/192/256, ARC4, MD5 and SHA-1/256. For WiFi applications, CO2128 also supports WEP and WPA encryption. For additional security, CO2128 includes tamper-protection.

“Security is paramount in financial applications,” states Alan Singer, Connect One vice president of sales and marketing. “iChipSec CO2128 is a highly integrated and flexible system-on-a-chip that offers more value and better performance than software-based secure IP networking solutions. It enables customers to reduce time-to-market and win market share, while reducing development and ongoing costs.”

For applications requiring lower cost, Connect One offers the 64-pin CO2064, which does not include an EBI or high-speed parallel bus. CO2128 and CO2064 are packaged in an RoHS-compliant LQFP form factor. The chips operate at 48MHz in a low-leakage 0.13 micron process. The core operates at 1.2 volts, while I/Os operate at 3.3 volts. Both chips operate in the industrial temperature range.

Pricing and Availability
Samples of iChipSec CO2128 will be available in January for $8.25 and CO2064 for $7.50 for over 50,000 units through distribution. The II-EVB-330 evaluation board for secure LAN, cellular or dial-up access will cost $1,450. The II-EVB-331 evaluation board for secure WiFi, LAN, cellular or dial-up access will cost $1,725.

About Connect One
Established in 1996, Connect One Ltd. is widely regarded as the device networking authority, with many innovative firsts to its credit. The company manufactures semiconductors and device servers that facilitate reliable and robust Internet Protocol-based communication for everyday devices. Connect One is privately owned, with offices in Phoenix, AZ, Hong Kong, and Kfar Saba, Israel.

For further information, please send an e-mail to Connect One, The Device Networking Authority, iChip, iChipSec, Internet Controller, AT+i, and SerialNET are trademarks of Connect One Ltd.