Kryptor FPGA

A one-chip hardware security module (HSM) and MAX10 FPGA dev board

Available for pre-order

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Apr 29, 2020

Project update 1 of 16

Progress Update & Tutorial Videos

by Piret Uustal

Thank you to all who have signed up for our Kryptor project (Hardware Security Module (HSM) on a single chip) through Crowd Supply. It is great to see that our project raised so much interest.

To keep everyone current with the project’s progress, we have written this quick update. It covers what we have been working on since our last post, in addition to getting ready to launch our Kryptor product on Crowd Supply.

Technical Features Video

First, we have prepared a YouTube video explaining the technical features of the HSM, its most important features, and the advantages of this solution:

Production Preparation

Additionally, we are refining our hardware production process. In particular, we have been looking for alternatives to the pick & place service we currently use to make our printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA). As you know, we are committed to designing and manufacturing this product exclusively in Europe. Therefore, we are verifying options to use local Estonian facilities. Working with local companies will simplify communication and make it more direct, advantages which might be very handy during the more intense production phase.

Tutorial Videos

We have also been busy testing our prototypes by connecting them to various Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards. Our objective with these tests is to improve our software libraries and make sure everything works as expected. You can find the API source code (for Linux/RPi) here.

For additional information on this topic, we have prepared two in-depth YouTube video tutorials. The first video gives a hands-on demonstration of connecting the Kryptor PCB to a RaspberryPi and demonstrating its operations via a SSH terminal window. Then we show the generation of symmetric keys and how to encrypt/decrypt a file with them.

The second YouTube video demonstrates how the True Random Number Generator (TRNG) from Kryptor-HSM ( works and how we can test and verify its quality. For the tests, we are using the open-source software "cert" by John Walker.

Hardware Development

Besides the work on Kryptor’s software, we are also working on a few other ideas to improve the hardware side. There is some work to be done to make the entire PCB pass the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing required to get the CE marking of conformity (e.g., moving from a 2 to a 4-layer PCB). Additionally, we are verifying the JTAG interface and evaluating other options to make sure the product’s operation and use is as user friendly as possible.

Regarding the JTAG interface, we are also working to identify the best solution to provide an easy JTAG physical interface with the smallest PCB footprint. Our primary focus is on a custom JTAG cable that will allow us to avoid using the large IDC standard JTAG connectors on the board. One of the options is to use the SOIC-16 connector (only six (6) pins on one side of it) to "bite" the JTAG pads on the edge of the board. This method is how we currently upload our softcores into the FPGA. As a result, we can test the interface concept and our current batch of prototypes at the same time. Multi-tasking at work!

COVID Considerations

Finally, we are monitoring the situation with possible component suppliers concerning the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their operations. It is hard to anticipate all possible consequences. Still, we will tell you more when we learn more in future communications.

Our bottom line is simple. We want to make sure nothing is left to chance before our official Kryptor launch on Crowd Supply. Once you can buy Kryptor from Crowd Supply, we want to be sure we are delivering a perfect product.

It is important for us to engage with our audience and we are excited to hear from you, listen to your feedback and suggestions. We are at the stage of the project where your feedback can still influence the final version of the Kryptor product. You are very welcome to join us on our newly created Telegram group or Twitter account @SkudoTech

So, stay tuned, and we will keep you posted with our latest news and progress.

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