External memory, in the form of SD Cards, has proven to be very useful for some users as a physical way to distribute programming images to Cyclone programmers. This can be a convenient way to deliver images in scenarios where the Cyclone is not connected to the internet or a PC.
In order to be used with a Cyclone, SD Cards are first formatted and encrypted at the sector level using industry standard AES encryption. The SD Card AES keys used are a blend of different information, and encryption happens in such a way that each SDCard is uniquely encrypted; only a Cyclone programmer has the knowledge to decrypt it. This means that any Cyclone FX can read the data inside the SD Card, which allows the SD Card to be moved around to different Cyclone FX units while also inhibiting a user from being able to copy the images.
Cyclone FX with SD Card
To limit images to a particular Cyclone FX or group of Cyclone FX units, an additional layer of cryptographic security, based on a user generated key, can be added. This uses a blend of RSA and AES cryptography, in addition to the previously mentioned SD Card encryption. Cyclone FX programmers leverage the industry leading wolfSSL cryptography stack to provide advanced cryptography protection and enablement for production programming setups. For more details, see the article about our Cyclone ProCryption Security feature
SD Card Encryption
Encrypted SD Cards can be used to expand the image capacity of a Cyclone FX production by holding images in addition to the images stored in the Cyclone’s internal memory. The SD Card port is exclusive to the Cyclone FX model of Cyclone programmers.