Silicon Laboratories has been granted a patent for an apparatus that detects potential security violations in reference clock signals. The device includes a clock generator, counter, and controller to monitor variations in clock signal cycles. GlobalData’s report on Silicon Laboratories gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Silicon Laboratories, Low Energy IoT network protocols was a key innovation area identified from patents. Silicon Laboratories's grant share as of January 2024 was 76%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Clock signal security violation detection apparatus

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Silicon Laboratories Inc

The granted patent (Publication Number: US11886621B2) describes an apparatus, an integrated circuit, and a wireless device designed to detect potential security violations related to the reference clock signal used in the system. The apparatus includes a clock generator, a counter, and a controller that can identify deviations in the count of clock cycles from a predetermined value, triggering security measures when necessary. The controller can prevent access to specific components in response to detected security violations, ensuring the protection of sensitive information stored within the system.

In the integrated circuit configuration, the system includes additional components such as radio frequency circuits and cryptographic circuitry, enhancing its security features. The controller within the integrated circuit can detect security violations where an attacker attempts to manipulate the reference clock signal to gain access to secure keys stored within the system. By monitoring the count of clock cycles and detecting deviations, the system can prevent compromises of universal keys and communicate any security breaches to the system designer. Overall, the patented technology aims to provide robust security measures against potential attacks targeting the reference clock signal and sensitive information stored within the system, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of the data processed by the apparatus, integrated circuit, and wireless device.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.