The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 51 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover one of Apple's granted patents relating to a Secure Enclave Processor. Such a processor was first introduced in Apple's A7 chip for securing a user's fingerprint in conjunction with Apple's new Touch ID feature introduced with the iPhone 5S. While todays granted patent regarding a Secure Enclave Processor covers authentication, it also covers securing other forms of private data.
Apple Granted Patent for a Secure Enclave Processor
In November 2013 we posted a report titled "New Patent Reveals Apple's "Secure Enclave" Processor for Touch ID and Possible Fingerprint Accessory." The patent application related to Apple's Touch ID feature covering fingerprint scanning and the protection of that fingerprint information.
Today, Apple has been granted a related patent titled "Trust zone support in system on a chip having security enclave processor." Their invention relates to security on "Systems on a Chip" (SOC) and devices that employ them. SOCs may operate on private user data as well as data belonging to others (e.g. copyrighted audio, video, and still images).
The security of the SOC and its ability to resist attacks meant to compromise secure data are becoming increasingly important features. a secure enclave processor could also be used to secure financial transactions and financial management.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below we're able to see a block diagram of one embodiment of an SOC coupled to a memory. As implied by the name, the components of the SOC may be integrated onto a single semiconductor substrate as a integrated circuit "chip." In some embodiments, the components may be implemented on two or more discrete chips in a system. The Secure Enclave Processor (SEP) is seen below as "SEP 16."
Apple notes that secure services may include various cryptographic services such as authentication, encryption, decryption, etc. Secure services may include secure key generation, where the keys may be used by components external to the security circuit for various security functions such as encryption or authentication.
Apple credits Stephen Polzin, James Keller and Gerard Williams as the inventors of granted patent 8,775,757 which was originally filed in Q3 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
James Keller came to Apple as part of the PA Semi acquisition in 2008 to work on Apple's "A" Series processors. Keller is now with AMD. Gerard Williams is Apple's Sr. Director in Platform Architecture and came to Apple from ARM.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 4am to 8pm MST and sporadically on the weekend.