A semiconductor device includes a stored device identifier that is accessible to external systems, and a stored secret key that is inaccessible to external systems. The device also includes an input, which in operation receives a system identifier, representing the system into which the device is to be incorporated, and an authorization key. An authorization unit within the device is then used for enabling or disabling the device in accordance with the values of the stored secret key, the received system identifier and the authorization key. The authorization key is typically supplied by a support center in response to being notified of the device identifier. In one embodiment, the authorization unit encrypts the system identifier using the stored secret key as the encryption key and then compares the result against the authorization key.

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