Sony pitches new DRM technology “CLEFIA”

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Tokyo (Japan) – Sony said it has developed a new block cipher algorithm that is designed to enable “advanced” copyright protection and authentication for the distribution of digital content such as music and images.

The company plans to reveal details about CLEFIA at the Fast Software Encryption 2007 conference, which will open its doors on March 26 in Luxembourg. So far, Sony has described the technology as a 128-bit block encryption that supports key lengths of 128, 192 or 256 bits. According to the company, CLEFIA is strong enough to defend content against “known cryptoanalytic attacks.”

Going forward, Sony hopes that the new approach will find its way into software as well into AV hardware that can be used “with confidence.” Compared to preceding encryption technologies, the company claims that CLEFIA offer more security while requiring fewer operations during encoding and decoding processes – which reduces the strain on hardware and could pave the way to smaller and better performing AV devices. Apparently, the technology achieves a maximum data bandwidth of 1.42 Gb/s in 90 nm CMOS cell libraries, which - according to Sony - would be efficient enough to bring CLEFIA to smartcard environments.

The company did not say when the technology could be available in commercial products.