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Definition: cryptographic coprocessor


A hardware module that includes a processor specialized for encryption and related processing. Such devices are built with numerous protection features that prevent unauthorized retrieval of data as well as from having their circuits reverse engineered. A cryptographic coprocessor may provide only encryption, or it may include certain transaction processing. For example, a smart card coprocessor includes smart card functions in order to house them in the same protective environment as the encryption algorithm. See glitch attack and cryptographic module.