5 Oct 2022

Taylor Vinters is delighted to have supported lowRISC C.I.C. on its expansion into North America, starting with its acquisition of NewAE Technology Inc.

LowRISC is a not-for-profit community interest company founded in Cambridge, UK, which provides a neutral home for collaborative engineering to develop and maintain open-source silicon designs and tools for the long term. The OpenTitan project – a collaboration between lowRISC, Google, Western Digital, Seagate and other commercial and academic partners – has created the first transparent, high-quality reference design and integration guidelines for silicon root of trust (RoT) implementations.

The acquisition will see NewAE contribute to new projects and directions as part of lowRISC US Inc. an entity recently formed in the US (as a wholly owned subsidiary) by lowRISC CIC. This will combine lowRISC’s experience in building open-source security IP suitable for commercial deployment, with NewAE Technology’s experience in hardware security tooling and training material.

A perfect match
Gavin Ferris, CEO of lowRISC, said, “With its open-design approach to hardware and its commitment to transparency and security, NewAE strategically complements our own open-source silicon design focus, helping create transparent silicon worthy of being trusted.”

Founded in 2014, NewAE Technology built the first commercially supported open-source toolchain for advanced hardware security evaluation, with its signature product, ChipWhisperer. The acquisition will enable lowRISC to develop and evaluate digital countermeasures in the open source, ensuring open-source hardware can be protected against the most serious attacks.

A shared commitment to open source innovation
“NewAE and lowRISC’s shared belief in open-source hardware means lowRISC is a natural home for ChipWhisperer and related projects,” said Colin O’Flynn, CEO, NewAE Technology, Inc. “This lets us focus not just on security tooling, but also on an entire stack of embedded security solutions.”

Taylor Vinters has advised lowRISC in its multi-partner ventures since 2020. The team advising lowRISC on its NewAE acquisition was led by Chris Willis Pickup (Charities and Social Ventures Partner) and supported by Lizzie Wilson (Corporate Senior Associate) with foreign counsel support from local US and Canadian advisers.

Chris and Lizzie are delighted to have assisted lowRISC on their new venture which will help lowRISC continue its mission of promoting the creation and use of open-source hardware and software tools and look forward to working with the lowRISC team as they start their exciting new chapter.