What We Do
Nuvoton Israel’s products combine unique control, management and security solutions with a wide range of processing power, enabling our customers to achieve differentiation in their respective markets.
Our products are deployed mainly in Enterprise PCs (Notebooks, Desktops, All-in-One) and Enterprise Server and Storage systems.
Nuvoton Israel works closely with major customers, primarily key Tier-1 vendors in the cloud and computing industry, to develop semi-customized, innovative solutions for a wide range of application platforms.
Our products are used by Intel®, Dell®, HP®, Google®, Microsoft®, Lenovo®, Asus®, Acer® and other major companies.
A Brief Overview of Our Portfolio
Baseboard Management Controller (BMC):
A Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) is a controller that is responsible for managing infrastructure equipment such as Server/Storage systems, including remote access to the system and management of the on-board components.
A typical BMC integrated circuit (IC) combines high-computing engines, VGA Graphics, PCI express interfaces, USB interfaces, Video compression and other on-board interfaces to support board management.
The BMC can also take the role of Platform Root of Trust and as such, is responsible for booting and managing the platform in the most secure possible way.
BMC software is based on embedded Linux, and Nuvoton is part of the Linux Foundation’s effort to develop an OpenBMC software stack for BMC applications.
As a community member and part of the Linux project, Nuvoton Israel participates in industry hackathons, conferences, code reviews and code upstream efforts.
Our customers are major Enterprise-based server OEMs and Hyperscale data center providers that produce equipment for their own data centers.
Embedded Controller (EC):
The Embedded Controller (EC) is the “secret sauce” of every PC notebook. This is where the makers implement their differentiation features.
In general, the EC is a microcontroller device with customization specific to the PC architecture and ecosystem. It provides support for legacy functionality such as keyboard control, but also plays important and critical roles such as system health manager (e.g., implementing temperature control) and system power manager (e.g., it performs battery management). The EC provides interfaces to various sensors (e.g., accelerometer, gyro, etc.) to the extent that it may also serve as the system’s sensor hub.
In many cases, the EC serves as the Platform Root of Trust, for which it supports cryptographic accelerators. EC firmware typically runs above an RTOS (Real-time Operating systems) such as ThreadX and FreeRTOS. Some customers have an open-source EC firmware to which we contribute code for our EC. At times, Windows driver support is also needed for the unique features provided by our EC.
Due to the critical functionality provided by our EC to the system, the EC is an always-on device. In other words, it is active even when the rest of the components on the platform are powered off. As such, it brings challenges in low power design.
Nuvoton Israel is a leading supplier of Embedded Controllers. We work closely with major PC makers (based mainly in the US) as well as provide solutions for Google’s new Chromebooks.
Trusted Platform Module (TPM):
The Nuvoton TPM includes a state-of-the art hardware security controller combined with firmware to support the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) standard.
TPMs are widely deployed in PC applications to protect the confidentiality, integrity and authenticity of the information.
The primary scope of the TPM is to assure platform integrity, i.e., to make sure that the platform behaves as expected. Specifically, it ensures that the boot process starts from a trusted combination of hardware and software and continues until the operating system has fully booted and applications are running. It is also used for various applications, including disc encryption (BitLocker) and password protection.
TPMs continue to proliferate around the connected world, e.g., for IOT applications.
The Nuvoton TPM IC combines integrated RISC processor, crypto engines and countermeasures, all of which challenge the Nuvoton development team to protect against advanced attacks. The TPM IC supports EAL4+ Common Criteria and FIPS 140-2 certifications.
SuperI/O is a class of I/O controller integrated circuits.
The SuperI/O chip combines interfaces for a variety of low-bandwidth input/output devices and ports by combining many functions in a single chip. As a result, the number of discrete components needed on the motherboard is reduced thus providing a more efficient and optimized system solution.
SIO provides a complete and efficient solution for thermal monitoring and fan control; it operates various functions in the platform such as fans, sensors, LEDs, etc.
In case of risk, the host is alerted and the SIO takes preventive actions to guarantee system safety.
The SIO is the first system board device in the platform to execute code. As such, it provides a mechanism to perform a secure system boot and serves as the system’s Root of Trust.
The SIO firmware is embedded software running on top of a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). It uses a full-featured driver set (HAL) to communicate with the underlying hardware. This entire software stack runs on a processor embedded in the SIO device.
The SIO chip is typically associated with desk-based platforms (desktops, workstations, All-in-Ones and Thin Clients).
Type-C™ Port Controller (TCPC):
USB Type-C™ is the new USB-IF standard that solves many challenges faced by today’s Type-A and Type-B cables and connectors. USB Type-C uses a slimmer connector to allow for increasing miniaturization of consumer and industrial products.
The Type-C™ port controller sets up a scenario where, for example, a notebook PC can transmit video to a DisplayPort monitor and/or data to a mobile phone, USB flash drive or Thunderbolt external hard drive while also delivering 100 watts of charging power all using this single device.
The TCPC’s role is to establish and control the contract between the two USB Type-C™ sides. It sets the optimized power contract (charging), the data role direction (USB device/host) and also, if applicable, the video path settings.
The TCPC device is managed by a Power Delivery (PD) software stack running on a host-embedded controller. Nuvoton provides and owns both the TCPC device and a complete software stack.
Nuvoton’s USB Type-C™ Port and Power Delivery controller mainly targets PCs, Desktops and Notebooks.
Nuvoton is taking an active part in the USB Implementers’ Forum, which defines the USB Type-C™-related specifications.