Imec, Holst Centre and Barco Silex Collaborate on Data Security for Wearables and Internet of Things Networks

Leuven and Louvain la Neuve (Belgium) - May 25, 2016 - The world-leading nanoelectronics research center imec, Holst Centre (set up by imec and TNO) and micro-electronic design house Barco Silex, belonging to the Barco group, today announced that they will collaborate to implement data security into sensors for wearable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) sensor networks. The organizations are coming together to bring data security for the IoT to the next level.

Smart wearables for lifestyle and health monitoring as well as many other personal IoT applications are evolving with a plethora of capabilities at a rapid pace. However, trust is key for a broad adoption and the implementation of a true intuitive IoT society -with sensors invisibly embedded everywhere in the environment, measuring all kind of parameters and making smart decisions- to support everyday life. The smart society can only become a reality when the sensor technology is trusted by their users and the privacy of the users’ data is guaranteed at all time. Data security for the IoT is therefore considered as one of the main challenges to solve. 

Current security solutions for IoT are designed for communication within one application domain or network. To realize a higher level of security, novel concepts for authentication, onboarding and end-to-end security in heterogeneous IoT networks are needed. Imec, Holst Centre and Barco Silex’ collaboration aims to leverage the technology and design expertise of imec and Holst Centre with the security IP portfolio of Barco Silex to develop novel chip architectures for secure ultra-low power sensors, and novel security concepts for reliable heterogeneous networks. Barco Silex will deliver the needed embedded security solution including crypto IP blocks to be implemented into imec’s multisensor IC for wearables and imec’s demonstrator platform for IoT. Imec will develop novel compute and memory architectures for minimal overhead of the secure implementation on the overall cost and power consumption of the sensors. In a next step, imec will study the impact of secure communication on throughput, response time and other performance aspects of heterogeneous IoT networks. 

“This collaboration is part of a roadmap on a secure and intuitve IoT. Close collaborations with security experts like Barco Silex, but also with excellent research groups from KULeuven and iMinds will offer the imec ecosystem to develop novel and complete solutions for secure wearables and heterogeneous IoT networks. The program is open for new companies to join us on this exciting journey!,” stated Kathleen Philips, program director  perceptive systems for an Intuitive IoT at imec.

“We are very pleased to be part of imec’s ambitious R&D program on intuitive IoT.” said Thierry Watteyne, CEO of Barco Silex. “This exciting collaboration is the recognition of the quality and flexibility of our security solutions. In addition it will help our developers to push our embedded security platforms solutions to the next level, especially in terms of optimizing the low power-high security equation within the chip architecture.”