Tillitis Tkey is an open-source RISC-V security key in a USB-C case

Tillitis Tkey is an open-source RISC-V security key in a USB-C case

Tillitis Tkey, an open-source RISC-V security key housed in a USB-C case, presents a unique approach to USB security tokens. Compact and straightforward, the TKey employs a 32-bit RISC-V core, specifically the PicoRV32, within a Lattice iCE40 UP5K FPGA.

Distinguished by its departure from conventional hardware security modules, the TKey does not incorporate persistent onboard storage, differentiating itself from alternatives like Yubikey Neo. Upon connection to a host device, applications must be loaded onto the key, leveraging measured boot to generate unique identifiers for each application. This method enhances security, as private keys are not stored on the device. The hardware and software of the TKey are entirely open-source, emphasizing transparency and trustability. Tillitis, a Swedish security firm emerging from the Mullvad VPN company in 2022, derives its name from the Swedish word “tillit,” signifying trust or confidence. The TKey is available in two versions: locked, designed for general users with a fixed configuration, and unlocked, allowing full customization through the Tillitis TK-1 Programmer, based on a Raspberry Pi Pico, catering to advanced users.

TKey comes equipped with a 32-bit RISC-V PicoRV32 core operating at 18 MHz and is integrated into an FPGA, specifically the Lattice iCE40 UP5K. With a TKey device application allocated 128 KiB of RAM, firmware utilizes 2 KiB RAM, and an additional 6 KiB is dedicated to ROM. The device features an execution monitor, and RAM protection, and supports two hardware privilege modes: Firmware mode and application mode. Using a USB-C connector, TKey also incorporates miscellaneous elements such as a touch sensor, power indicator, and status indicator. Operating under a 5V input voltage, the device’s maximum current consumption is 100mA, and it maintains an operational temperature range of 0°C to 40°C.

Various pre-built TKey applications are accessible for download on the company’s website, providing users with convenient options. For those interested in creating their device and client applications, the comprehensive TKey Developer Handbook offers valuable insights. The Tillitis TKey operates on a completely open-source basis, with all software, firmware, Verilog source code, schematics, and PCB design files available in the GitHub repository for transparency and customization.

The TKey RISC-V security key is available in two versions, catering to both end-users and advanced users. Both versions, priced at 880 Swedish krona (approximately $90), can be purchased directly from the Tillitis shop. Additionally, for users seeking enhanced configurability, the programmer is offered separately for 500 Swedish krona, or around $50.

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