IBM to produce Infineon security chips at U.S. foundry

infineonlogoNeubiberg, Germany — Infineon Technologies AG has announced that IBM will manufacture Infineon-designed highly-secure ICs used for secure identification applications, including electronic passports compliant with international travel regulations and the U.S. Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards.

The planned production at IBM’s chip fabrication plant in Burlington, Vermont, provides U.S. manufactured components for suppliers to U.S. government electronic identification programs.

Infineon and IBM began a collaboration in 2007 that included licensing of the 130nm embedded Flash technology used to produce advanced security ICs. This established technology base will be used to manufacture security microcontrollers based on the Infineon SLE 78 architecture, which features ‘Integrity Guard’ hardware security technology.

“Manufacturing at the IBM Trusted Foundry enables us to meet the specific needs of the U.S. government for in-country production from a security certified high-volume, high-quality source,” said Dr. Joerg Borchert, vice president of the Chip Card & Security Division at Infineon Technologies North America Corp., in a statement.

“Our plant in Dresden, Germany, has provided ICs for the U.S. ePassport since 2006. We now have a U.S. site that is fully-qualified to supply security microcontrollers and related products with the highest levels of security available in a production IC today,” added Borchert.

Infineon specifically developed the SLE 78 family and ‘Integrity Guard’ security technology (video) for use in chip-based high-end security identification and payment areas. The SLE 78 products received the Common Criteria EAL5+ (high) security certification for use in electronic ID documents and chip card applications by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

Government ID applications include electronic documents, such as passports, national ID, health cards, drivers licenses and social security cards.

Both the IBM Trusted Foundry and Infineon’s Dresden plant are security certified according to “Common Criteria,” an international standard designation for the integrity of manufacturing and the supply chain from producer to end-customer. Infineon says this provides customers with two fully-qualified sources for advanced security chip technology.