Qualcomm's high-end processor, the Snapdragon 855, has just been awarded the EAL-4+ security certification by the common criteria. But what does that actually mean?
Snapdragon 855, the best of processors
With its Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm is equipping the best phones on the market in 2019: the Samsung Galaxy S10 line (US version), the OnePlus 7 Pro, and the Sony Xperia 1. And for good reason, in addition to being ultra-powerful, these processors offer a very high processing speed and 5G capabilities. In short, it is the best chip you have in a phone at the moment.
But the Snapdragon 855 is once again on the top step of the processor podium thanks to its EAL 4+ safety certification.
What does EAL 4+ mean in practice?
Qualcomm Technologies Inc. announced that the SPU, the integrated security engine of its Snapdragon 855 processor, has received Common Criteria's EAL 4+ security certification. That is, now you can use this processor as a secure area for encryption, payments, eSIM and much more.
"Completing the EAL-4+ security certification is a major milestone in our journey to bring smart card levels of security to our Snapdragon customers and users. Use cases that previously required separate security chips will now be possible fully integrated in Snapdragon 855 powered devices. This certification is a testament to the industry firsts that Snapdragon 855 brings to market and Qualcomm Technologies’ continued leadership in embedded security," said Jesse Seed, director of product management at Qualcomm.
Where before phones required a chip dedicated to this security, now the processor supports it. This is a real technological advancement, but also an economic one. Indeed, savings will be made by eliminating the construction of this chip, and the (albeit small) space will become available inside smartphones.
It should also be noted that certification applies retroactively to smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 855, although this is not necessary since they are also equipped with the separate security chip.
Do you think this is a real breakthrough in processor manufacturing?