Exclusive: Chip IP giant Rambus joins forces with security firm ICTK, extending trust in semiconductors

Exclusive: Chip IP giant Rambus joins forces with security firm ICTK, extending trust in semiconductors

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Apr. 7, 2023 5:25PM GMT+9 Updated Apr. 22, 2023 2:00PM GMT+9

Rambus, a leading American semiconductor company known for its expertise in silicon intellectual property (IP) and chip solutions, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s ICTK Holdings. This strategic collaboration aims to leverage physically unclonable function (PUF) technology, a cutting-edge security solution that has the potential to revolutionize the industry.

ICTK Holdings specializes in a range of security solutions based on PUF technology, including IP, chip, module, device, and platform technologies. These solutions are designed to provide enhanced security and protection for various applications in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

The company’s VIA PUF technology, which uses the random formation of via holes in semiconductor manufacturing process, stands out among other PUF technologies, offering superior steadiness and reliability. This is particularly noteworthy when compared to competing SRAM PUF technology, which faces potential concerns and limitations in under sub-10 nanometer processes. As a result, the future applications of SRAM PUF technology may be restricted.

Recognizing the immense potential of VIA PUF technology, Rambus has strategically entered into the MOU with ICTK Holdings. This collaboration comes at a time when South Korea’s global market share in System-on-Chip (SoC) is currently less than 1%. In light of this, the success of promising SoC fabless companies, like ICTK Holdings, is garnering significant attention in the industry.

The South Korean government is expected to shift its investment focus from memory semiconductors to non-memory SoC fields, aligning with the potential of emerging technologies like VIA PUF. Justin Lee, the CEO of ICTK Holdings is confident that this trend offers a valuable opportunity for their homegrown technology to expand overseas and contribute to the advancement of security solutions.

“With the backing of the South Korean government and the strategic collaboration with Rambus, ICTK Holdings is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing interest in PUF technology and strengthen its foothold in the global market,” said Lee.


The cover image of this article was designed by Sangseon Kim.

Dain Oh is a distinguished journalist based in South Korea, recognized for her exceptional contributions to the field. As the founder and editor-in-chief of The Readable, she has demonstrated her expertise in leading media outlets to success. Prior to establishing The Readable, Dain was a journalist for The Electronic Times, a prestigious IT newspaper in Korea. During her tenure, she extensively covered the cybersecurity industry, delivering groundbreaking reports. Her work included exclusive stories, such as the revelation of incident response information sharing by the National Intelligence Service. These accomplishments led to her receiving the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology, a well-deserved accolade bestowed upon her through a unanimous decision. Dain has been invited to speak at several global conferences, including the APEC Women in STEM Principles and Actions, which was funded by the U.S. State Department. Additionally, she is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association, further exhibiting her commitment to journalism.