Inside Secure launches enhanced product
security chip for counterfeit prevention
13 March 2012
Inside Secure has introduced the VaultIC 160, a programmable
identification chip for embedding into high-end consumer or industrial
products that are often targeted by counterfeiters and cloners.
By incorporating the VaultIC160 in their products, manufacturers
of high-end consumer goods can track their products through
distribution and retail channels. Consumers can use an
NFC-equipped smartphone — or a simple contactless reader — to verify
that the product is an original and not a counterfeit, and to access
the other information stored on the chip.
“As well as protecting high-end luxury goods with bank-level
security, the extra memory capacity of the VaultIC160 provides
manufacturers with more options to create new services and
convenience for their customers,” said Christian Fleutelot, general
manager, VaultIC, digital security business unit, at INSIDE Secure.
“Where added memory is not a requirement, luxury good makers can opt
for our lower-cost VaultIC150 solution which offers the same very
high levels of embedded protection against counterfeiters and
The new NFC chip packs 14 Kbytes of accessible programmable
non-volatile (NV) memory in addition to 1.5 Kbytes of NV memory used
to hold authentication certificate information. This increased
memory allows the consumer goods vendor, or any other supplier
incorporating the chip into their product, to store product-related
information on the chip such as pictures, recipes, customs forms or
The VaultIC160 chip’s wireless NFC interface has a range of
several centimeters, which means that the chip can be deeply
embedded into a product without leaving any visible trace, thus
making the protection totally invisible.
Designed to keep contents secure and avoid leaking information
during code execution, the VaultIC160 includes voltage, frequency
and temperature detectors, illegal code execution prevention,
tampering monitors and protection against side channel attacks and
The chip can also detect tampering attempts and destroy sensitive
data on such events, thus avoiding data confidentiality being
Complementing the NFC interface is a simple software application
that INSIDE Secure provides to the product manufacturers. Those
manufacturers can customize the software to their products, branding
message and other requirements.
As they are shopping, consumers can use their cell phones to
authenticate the product, or even to find out which retail outlet
might have the desired product in stock if the vendor has a
product-locator database available.