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Cypress Teams With Symwave To Deliver High-Performance Biometric Security Reference Design For Portable Hard Disk Drives


Cypress’s USB Technology and Symwave’s Sensing and Software Expertise Combine
To Protect Critical Data with Personalization and Convenience for Users

SAN JOSE, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, Calif., -- September 28, 2006 - Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY) and Symwave, Inc. today jointly introduced a reference design for adding biometric security to external hard disk drives (HDDs) using fingerprint recognition technology. The reference design offers ultimate flexibility and convenience for both HDD manufacturers and their end customers.

The new CY4671 reference design, based on Symwave’s SW6888 fingerprint sensor IC and Cypress’s EZ-USB™ FX2LP USB controller, addresses the growing need for secure data on portable drives. It allows manufacturers of portable HDDs or enclosures to easily add biometric security that limits access to data on the drives to those with a registered fingerprint. The reference design supports 1-, 2.5- and 3.5-inch hard drives of all capacities.

The combined solution comes with design-in documentation, datasheets, bill of materials (BOM), a software developer’s kit, Symwave’s BioPrint™ application software, firmware and mass production tools specifically designed to run the Cypress EZ-USB FX2LP and Symwave SW6888. It allows customers to bring biometric security enabled hard drives to mass production without requiring additional software development. The solution enables manufacturers to ship enclosure products without bundling the hard disk drive, alleviating risks associated with carrying HDD inventories unnecessarily before shipment.

“We consider the biometric security market to be a significant opportunity where we can leverage the unique flexibility and performance of the EZ-USB FX2LP controller,” said Rajiv Nema, product marketing manager for Cypress’s High-Speed USB product line. “The combined Cypress/Symwave reference design offers a complete feature set in terms of its flexibility and ease-of-use.”

“Symwave’s IC and software expertise delivers the premier solution available for biometric security in HDDs,” said Jack Bell, Vice President of Marketing of Symwave, Inc. “We are pleased to team with the USB industry leader to offer this outstanding solution to our mutual customers.”

The Symwave/Cypress CY4671 biometric reference design provides the tools necessary for HDD manufacturers to tailor the product to their customers’ requirements, including formatting, partitioning and securing/unsecuring the drive. The reference design provides both a “secure” and a “public” partition in the available disk space of the drive. The public partition is available as soon as the hard drive is connected to a PC, while the secure drive is accessible only after a registered user authenticates his fingerprint. Users can store non-secure data on the public partition, while storing confidential information on the secure partition. The combined solution also provides for a second layer of security through file encryption and decryption.

All data on the secure partition is hidden via hardware control to protect the drive from hackers attempting to access the drive maliciously. Further, the hardware protection keeps the drive from being disconnected from its original housing and accessed by other hard drive readers.

Price and Availability
The new CY4671 reference design can be downloaded free of charge from Cypress in the “Reference Designs” section at" Interested parties can also request a live demo from their local Cypress or Symwave sales representative.

About Symwave’s BioPrint SW6888
The BioPrint SW6888 swipe-type fingerprint IC solution is designed to provide fingerprint authentication and mouse-pad navigation functionality in power-sensitive and small form-factor application environments, such as mobile handsets, PDAs, laptop computers and direct-attached storage devices. The SW6888 combines proprietary sensing technology with ruggedized, small form factor design and leading-edge software, providing customers with a full fingerprint identification solution. The SW6888 swipe sensor was designed to be the most accurate, easily integratable, cost-effective fingerprint solution available.

The EZ-USB FX2LP is the world’s lowest power fully integrated peripheral controller, including an 8051 microprocessor, a serial interface engine, a high-speed USB 2.0 transceiver, on-chip RAM and FIFO and a General Programmable Interface (GPIF). It handles all basic USB functions, enabling the host system’s microprocessor to focus on application-specific functions and ensuring sustained high-speed data transfer rates. Featuring a data rate of 480 Mbps, 16 Kbytes of on-chip memory, and up to 40 programmable I/Os, the EZ-USB FX2LP solution provides complete design flexibility. There are several package options, including a 5mm x 5mm VFBGA package, ideal for use in small form-factor mobile applications. The CY3684 EZ-USB FX2LP Development Kit is available to facilitate the design process and speed time-to-market.

About Symwave
Symwave is a fabless semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets high-performance analog/mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) and system solutions. Symwave specializes in the design and development of high-speed, standards-based Serial Physical Layer ICs (PHYs) and high-performance, low-power Analog Frond End ICs (AFEs) leveraging its proprietary mixed-signal technology and silicon design capabilities. Symwave’s mission is to become the premier supplier of high-performance, customer-driven mixed-signal silicon and systems solutions to the PC, mobile device and consumer electronics markets. Symwave’s strategy is focused on defining, developing and delivering best-in-class / first-in-class integrated circuit solutions for its customers leveraging Symwave’s world-class analog / mixed-signal IC design team coupled with its broad IP portfolio. Symwave is a privately held company founded in 2001 with headquarters in San Diego, CA, and offices in Southern China, and is backed by several top-tier venture capital firms. Additional information is available at

About Cypress
Cypress solutions perform: consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar" Leveraging proprietary silicon processes, Cypress’s product portfolio includes a broad selection of wired and wireless USB devices, CMOS image sensors, timing solutions, specialty memories, high-bandwidth synchronous and micropower memory products, optical solutions and reconfigurable mixed-signal arrays. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY. Visit us at

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Cypress and the Cypress logo are registered trademarks and EZ-USB FX2LP is a trademark of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. BioPrint is a trademark of Symwave, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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