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Business | September 02, 2011

NSA approved Defense-Grade Spartan-6Q FPGA

Xilinx's ow-cost, low-power defense-grade programmable solution for high assurance applications is in production and has been approved for use in Type 1 Cryptographic Systems by the National Security Agency (NSA).
The approval covers critical elements of the Spartan-6Q device secure communications solution that provides Single-chip cryptography (SCC) capability and Security Monitor 2.0 IP core for physical design security. SCC combines the functionality of multiple FPGAs into a single device, enabling Aerospace and Defense product developers to reduce the size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) of systems through higher levels of integration.

Key to the NSA’s approval is the ability of the Spartan-6Q device to isolate user functionality within a single device while maintaining tamper-proofing. The NSA completed a fail-safe analysis effort on the Spartan-6Q family to confirm that the individual regions of the FPGA are isolated from each other in the event of failure. The proven Isolation Design Flow and verification process, first pioneered and developed by Xilinx in cooperation with the NSA, provides higher levels of integration and increased system reliability.

Although designed to meet NSA requirements, the Isolation Design Flow solution provides techniques useful in other high- reliability applications such as commercial avionics governed by FAA DO-254 and commercial cryptographic systems governed by NIST FIPS-140.

“The production availability of the Spartan-6Q family marks another major milestone in Xilinx’s 20-year track record of meeting the rigorous demands of the A&D industry,” said Xilinx Vice President, Segment Marketing and Business Operations, Harvey Steele Jr. “Our close collaboration with customers and government agencies ensures Xilinx’s delivery of FPGA technology with unique, industry-leading capabilities that stands apart from the competition for meeting today’s defense-related, high-level security requirements.”

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