NTRU announces GenûID; First Complete Security Solution Designed Specifically for Radio Frequency Identification and Contactless Applications

March 18, 2002

Burlington, Mass. --
NTRU's Small, Fast, Strong Security Technology Enables Robust Public Key Security on Space-Constrained RFID Devices and Contactless Cards

NTRU, the only provider of strong security that fits everywhere, today announced the release of NTRU GenûID?, the first practical public key security solution designed for securing RFID (radio frequency identification) and contactless applications of all types. Based on the most fundamental breakthrough in cryptography in 20 years, NTRU GenûID operates hundreds of times faster than legacy systems while requiring only a fraction of the footprint. As a result, RFID and contactless application vendors and developers finally have the option to add powerful security to their solutions without compromising cost or performance.

"RFID and contactless technologies are already proven in many industries. One of the barriers to widespread application adoption has been a lack of affordable, efficient and powerful security," said Deepak Shetty, RFID industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan. "Products like NTRU's GenûID will open up new markets and opportunities for RF and contactless application developers, vendors and RF device users."

Until NTRU GenûID, no practical security solution existed for RFID and contactless applications. Legacy public key technology was too slow, too expensive and too power-hungry, while symmetric key systems have too many security vulnerabilities and scalability problems. The size and speed advantages of GenûID‚s next-generation public key security allow it to operate under the very constrained size and power consumption requirements demanded by RFID and contactless devices. NTRU GenûID enables manufacturers to tap new markets, customers and revenue opportunities.

"NTRU's GenûID cryptosystem enables manufacturers and developers to create RFID products that are high-performing, cost-effective and secure," said Bruce Del Porte, RFID Marketing Manager at Atmel. "Atmel Corporation is a leading supplier of sophisticated semiconductors and GenûID will create a host of new opportunities, allowing us to strengthen our position in the RFID market."

The addition of robust, scalable and inexpensive security to RFID and contactless devices and platforms offers increased performance and substantially reduced fraud risk to high-value applications such as payment, ticketing and transit. It also enables contactless applications that securely transmit personal data, like personal ID cards and biometrics. In transit applications, for instance, NTRU GenûID enables a passenger to quickly pay for admission and other services with a card or key fob, without fishing through pockets and wallets for cash. For contactless applications, GenûID enables identification, authentication and physical access control, providing strong security without inconveniencing the consumer. GenûID protects an individual‚s personal information stored on a card or other contactless device, preventing unauthorized access or alteration. Typical usage examples are airline security checkpoints and border crossings.

"NTRU GenûID is the only product line that meets the unique security requirements of constrained RFID and contactless environments. NTRU GenûID eliminates the traditional trade-offs between security, cost and performance," said Scott Crenshaw, NTRU CEO. „NTRU GenûID allows strong security to be implemented in the smallest RFID devices, even tokens or tags that cost as little as $0.50. This opens up markets for RFID and contactless applications, bringing the technology to high-value and sensitive transactions that were previously impossible to secure.

NTRU GenûID Unique Features and Benefits

NTRU GenûID offers RFID and contactless application vendors and OEMs powerful encryption and digital signature functionality that is easy to implement and tailor to specific application needs. It is a complete end-to-end solution, supporting all functions and components along the entire RF and contactless value chain. NTRU GenûID consists of the NTRU GenûID Hardware Core, a VHDL core enabling incorporation of public key security into the most cost- and space-constrained semiconductors, the NTRU GenûID Software for Chip Cards, enabling public key security to run on low-cost microcontrollers without the added cost, size and power consumption of cryptographic co-processors, and GenûID toolkits for readers and backend servers. NTRU‚s GenûID family makes it fast and easy for semiconductor vendors, application developers and systems integrators to include strong security in their products.

Higher security--For the first time, GenûID brings strong, affordable public key security to the RFID and contactless markets. Public key security delivers numerous benefits. It is substantially more secure than alternatives, delivering enhanced fraud protection. For example, with systems not using public key security, the compromise of just one reader compromises the security of the entire system. NTRU GenûID eliminates this threat. GenûID also makes key management much simpler and less expensive, while increasing system scalability.

Multi-function applications--With new levels of security now possible, RFID and contactless vendors have new opportunities to develop multi-function applications, like ticketing and point of sales transaction, with higher revenue and profit potential.

Faster performance--GenûID eliminates the wait users can experience, for example, when completing credit card transactions or gaining access to border crossings or other secure areas. GenûID is actually faster in software than competitive systems are with hardware acceleration. Convenience and speed are the keys to end user satisfaction; GenûID brings performance to new levels without compromising security.

Longer operational range--GenûID consumes significantly less power than other public key security technologies, dramatically expanding the range of RFID and contactless tokens. For example, this allows a rider to enter a transit system without removing the ticket from his wallet. Traditionally, the physical, engineering and regulatory hurdles made increasing read range impractical; now, it can be accomplished simply by switching to NTRU GenûID.

Lower cost--GenûID‚s efficiency means smaller footprint and significantly less expensive manufacturing. This enables wider deployment of secure RFID applications, increasing revenues and profits, while providing end users greater convenience and security. These are cost-driven markets, where NTRU GenûID can make the difference between success and failure.

Fast time to market/Easy to integrate--NTRU GenûID integrates quickly and easily into semiconductors (whether fixed logic or microcontroller-based), readers and back-end servers, enabling vendors to rapidly bring much needed functionality to market. This functionality differentiates products and changes the competitive profile of RFID and contactless offerings. NTRU GenûID simplifies the process of providing secure RFID and contactless applications, and allows vendors to increase market share and gain significant competitive advantages.

Availability NTRU GenûID products are available immediately.

About NTRU

NTRU is the only provider of strong security that fits everywhere. Based on the most fundamental innovation in cryptography in more than 20 years, NTRU eliminates historic price, performance and usability tradeoffs in security. NTRU delivers strong, fast security that operates with minimal power consumption and fits into a tiny footprint, making it easy for customers to build devices that people trust. NTRU security is gaining widespread adoption in the radio frequency identification (RFID), mobile communications, multimedia and embedded markets. Headquartered in Burlington, Mass., NTRU is backed by Texas Instruments, Sony Corporation, Macrovision, Lehman Brothers Venture Capital, Investor AB, Granite Ventures, Greylock, CTT and 3i. For more information, visit www.ntru. com .


Note: NTRU security products are protected by U.S. Patent No. 6,081,597; other U.S. and foreign patents pending.

For additional information in the United States please contact:

Heather A. Baker
Schwartz Communications, Inc.
telephone: (781) 684-0770
fax: (617) 684-6500