TRUSTLESS COMPUTING CLUSTER (Proposal)

The Trustless Computing Cluster is a planned medium-long term  joint-venture to to promote a 10-30M€+ multi-year public-private geo-located ecosystem of organizations and permanent facilities for the profitable design, prototyping and fabrication of IT devices, equipment and services of ultra-high and globally unmatched levels of user trustworthiness. It is the planned outgrowth of the plans of the Open Media District and of TRUSTLESS Computing Initiative, constituted of 9-19M€ foundational R&D dual-use projects, with unique partner and advisors, the TRUSTLESS Computing Certification Campaign, and the related global event series, Free and Safe in Cyberspace.

AIMS: to catalyze an highly dynamic clustering dynamics in 2-3 EU existing IT security geo-located clusters, to create a European coordinated design and manufacturing capacity for unprecedented and ultra-high assurance IT system with wide market and disruptive potential. It will create a set of facilities, processes and services to establish a stable, cost-efficient and flexible ecosystem for the design, prototyping and small-medium scale production of TRUSTLESS-compliant devices, equipment and services, tied to substantial geolocated economic development initiatives.

By positioning itself as a complete and open initial socio-technical standard body and ecosystem, it aims to replicate, if in reduced scale, the network effects and related economic impacts of the introduction of GSM standards that – lead by the EU and lead by EU standard bodies – produced 2 decades of EU leadership in the mobile industry, as suggest by the Finnish Prime Minister.

PARTNERS: Partners to date include 15 leading EU, Italian and Brazilian public and private partners. In addition, substantial interest has been shown by 3 EU semi-conductor foundries in addition to Lfoundry and Kryptus, and top European Defence Agency executives. Governmental interest has been shown by Region of Lazio, Trento Province and Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Defense of Italy.

 Main Components

It can be realized progressively by a smaller Option A and then a large Option B, or start directly an Option b to better claim time-to-market.

  • (1) TRUSTLESS Design Center. An innovation center where designs of hardware, software, services and casing for UVEG-devices happen. After an initial stage exclusive to TRUSTLESS Private Stakeholders, crowdsourcing open innovation models may be deployed that allow young innovators to propose new products and service in revenue sharing models. Includes:
    • (1.a) TRUSTLESS Device and Apps Prototyping and Usability Lab, with several prototyping machinery for SoC and component (blocks) prototype development, advanced 3d printing, and user experience tools and simulation setups. (300-1000 sq.mts.).
    • (1.b) TRUSTLESS Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab, a simulation environment where organizational processes and technologies that allow for complete oversight of the manufacturing processes of critical components of UVEG-devices, as specified in the CivicFab processes, both in partnering EU and non-EU foundries.It will also host dedicated simulation hosting rooms to develop and test techs and processes of CivicRoom.
  • (2) TRUSTLESS Partner Foundry(ies). One or more partnering low-capacity 200-300mm semiconductor foundry(ies) that will enter in multi-year agreements, possibly including co-investment, for ongoing production of TRUSTLESS-devices ICs , related blocks and other hardware components. It will hosted all necessary dedicated facilities setups to run the CivicFab processes developed through the Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab. (a) a validation of TRUSTLESS products to the private market. One of the partnering foundries will host the Hardware Manufacturing Oversight Lab. Foundries and Design Center can well be in different locations or even countries.

Unique ecological designs of the TRUSTLESS Design Center

A larger 30M€ TRUSTLESS Design Center has been conceived as a cutting-edge architectural facility an innovative Zero Emission, Off-Grid and Food-Autonomous facility, that will:

  • (1) represent in architecture the leading positive future that the Center is developing;
  • (2) bring publicity;
  • (3) and make it even more attractive to young world software and hardware hacking talents.

Find here a 12-pager PDF (30MB, please be patient :-)) with Prototypical Architectural Design, and here its 3-pager Eco-analysis PDF.

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Funding sources

It will be funded through co-investments by private stakeholders, partnering 200-300mm semiconductor low-capacity foundry(s), a local tech park and local/national government, and direct and indirect funds subsidies. It’s funding is planned primarily from a proposal to ECSEL Program in spring 2016, possibly in conjunction with Ministries of Defence funds coordinated, through the European Defense Agency, other concurrent H2020 programs.

Such public funds are intended to catalyse co-investments by partnering EU 2-300mm low-capacity semiconductor foundries, and possibly a local tech park and other direct and indirect local and regional subsidies. The support of  major EU tech parks or clusters focused on high-assurance IT security and regional government would be crucial by agreeing to provide major co-funding, other resources and help catalyze national and regional public resources. Talks and meetings over the last 2 years have been held with relevant actors in the Trentino Region, Abruzzo Region, Lazio Region, Sao Paulo State, Milan.

Economic benefits for hosting countries and regions

As argued in the previous section,TRUSTLESS would provide crucial defense from industrial espionage and promote the establishment of a local world-leading industry for highest-assurance ICT services and products.

Large revenue opportunities derive from estimated of the 65bn$ yearly global market for cybersecurity solutions and from the, yet largely untapped, 180bn$ market to 2016 (Forrester Research) for ultra-private cloud, devices and end-to-end solutions. Such market is available to non-US actors on condition that they provide levels of privacy assurance meaningfully-superior assurance for high-worth and ordinary individuals, businesses and governmental agencies, which no-one is currently providing to our knowledge. (detailed TRUSTLESS business analysis are available).

At first, it would appear that building a chip manufacturing plant would be the best way – for a country and/or a private enteprise – to provide the highest assurance of the chip manufacturing process. However, at a cost of 200M€, for very old technology, to 4bn€, for the latest, such costs are not only prohibitive but of very little use since, even though such plant may be located in the same nation where theTRUSTLESS service is offered, the problem of verification and oversight the process remains almost completely intact. Therefore, even if there was a budget of over 100M€ available to ensure hardware security, the best way to spend such budget would be in oversight procedures and techs rather than manufacturing, provided that there are the conditions (including of manageable complexity and IPR clearance) to apply complete oversight.

In fact, all TRUSTLESS compliant critical hardware components will be manufactured in one or more partnering low-capacity 2-300mm semiconductor foundries, and hardware design labs which, based on their much lower level of complexity, IPR and market pressures, can reliably and sustainably allow complete public oversight of any critical fabrication processes. Furthermore world-class 2-300mm competencies are available in EU, and apt to be cheaply reconverted to production of wafers and many blocks of highest-assurance ICs, as they increasingly can’t compete in their traditional sub-markets for performance, volume, features with asian 300mm and 450mm mega-fabs.

Partnership with planned ICT tech park in Rome

The project originated from the Open Media Park and District project. The latter is a public-private initiative, started in 2008, to develop in Rome, Italy, on private land a world-class metropolitan district and cluster aiming to become world leader on next generation open Web technologies and content, and cutting-edge cyber-privacy and cyber-security services. It has encountered, in its chosen Rome location, unforeseeable and irregular bureaucratic obstacles that have been gravely delaying its approval, it is therefore actively seeking other international location, although recently all local government agencies have signed a detailed MoD committing to timely approval and catalization of EU structural funds.

The vision and strategy of the Open Media District and Park rests on 4 pillars:

  • (1) the Open Media Cluster, no-profit innovation center which leads TRUSTLESS Computing,a 5-19M€ global trail-blazing framework R&D project on ultra-privacy and open Web with over 15 Italian, EU and Brazilian R&D partners, and has attracted 12 investing and localizing partners to colocate in 5,000+ sq.mts. of joint facilities;
  • (2) Open Media Park, a 150M€ and 47,000 sq.mts. private media technology park that will host the Cluster in EU 1st zero emission, off-grid and food-autonomous facilities in 20 hectares of a stunning location, adjacent to an existing video and tech park;
  • (3) a dedicated regional legislation for the adoption of such techs in critical public e-services and their active R&D funding;
  • (4) a wide and explicit vision shared by most major Italian and Lazio private and public stakeholders (see Open Media Forum 2012 for the open Web, and TRUSTLESS partners  for privacy ICT);
  • (5) a 5-20M€ state-of-the-art facilities for the development of leading-edge hardware manufacturing verification processes and technologies, and a mini-fab for prototyping and small scale production of the world most-secure fully-transparent” “SoC” platform, developed in partnership with the Brazilian Kryptus, the world leader in the design of “open” secure processors, and other partners.

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