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The design can be realized as an integrated circuit core or an application-specific integrated circuit core. Using a simple, accessible interface, a device containing SHAMROCK chip can use the SHAMROCK’s cryptographic components, such as an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) cipher core, to secure its data internally and to protect its communication with other devices. The device can also use SHAMROCK to handle all of the key management tasks required for the operation of the cryptographic components. All of these components are integrated in a self-contained, secure design, thereby simplifying the task of incorporating cryptographic protections into applications. SHAMROCK achieves high performance, low power, flexibility, and extensibility by implementing typically computationally demanding components, such as the standard cryptographic functions, directly in hardware.

Additionally, SHAMROCK assures security by separating its internal design into a number of physical regions, and tightly the flow of information from one region into another. It has a dedicated region for storing and handling cryptographic keys. To prevent these keys from leaking, the only physical paths from these regions to those that interface with the application go through a “scrambler” function (e.g. a secure hash function).