Cryptography-enabled microcontroller with DICE architecture simplifies development of secure connected nodes

July 9, 2018 Microchip Technology, Inc.

With the accelerated growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) enabling the deployment of Internet connectivity into virtually every industrial segment, security threats are escalating in quantity and scale. The impact of these threats on attacked organizations or companies can be huge. They can ruin a company’s reputation, negatively impact its financials and allow its intellectual property to be stolen or destroyed. While the rationale for using cryptography to secure these connected nodes is understood, many designers do not yet have the knowledge about how to implement this type of security in their applications.

Hackers have become increasingly sophisticated, making it imperative that you apply sound security principles in the development of your product. Developed and backed by industry experts from the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), the Device Identity Composition Engine (DICE) security standard is a simple and reliable method that you can implement in the hardware of your product during manufacturing. The architecture breaks up the boot process into layers and creates unique secrets along with a measure of integrity for each layer, automatically re-keying and protecting secrets to avoid malware attacks.

The CEC1702 is a full-featured 32-bit Arm® Cortex®-M4F based microcontroller with a complete hardware cryptography-enabled solution in a single package. This low-power, yet powerful device now supports the DICE security standard to make it easy for you to implement crucial security and privacy features into your embedded project. Using the secure boot features of the CEC1702 with the DICE standard enables manufacturers to create a chain of trust for the multiple firmware image loads of a system. This is especially important for customers concerned with the ability to attest to the health and identity of connected devices by fusing two critical elements that define that device: the health of the software and the hardware-based identity of the silicon on that device.

Minimizing development time and ease of use are top considerations when designing cloud-connected solutions. The new CEC1702 IoT Development Kit (DM990013-BNDL) for Microsoft Azure IoT provides you with everything you need to easily incorporate the DICE security standard in your product. It comes with the CEC1702 MCU and sample code to help you quickly develop a secure, cloud-connected solution. This kit is certified by Microsoft Azure, so you can be confident that the necessary components to connect your application to the Internet have been vetted and certified.

Key features of the CEC1702 IoT Development Kit include:

  • CEC1x02 development board with a Plug-in Module (PIM) that contains the CEC1702 with integrated cryptography accelerators, saving code space and decreasing time to market
  • Two headers that are compatible with an extensive library of MikroElektronika click boards™ for flexible design options
  • MikroElektronika WiFi 7 click equipped with our ATWINC1510-MR210PB IEEE 802.11 b/g/n module and optimized for low-power IoT applications
  • MikroElektronika THERMO 5 click featuring our EMC1414 temperature sensor, which can measure temperatures across four channels with ranges from 0 to 127°C and an extended range of –64 to 191°C

If you are concerned about adding security to your next embedded project, the CEC1702 and CEC1702 IoT Development Kit can be ordered from microchipDIRECT or from Microchip’s worldwide distribution network. Visit the Microsoft Azure Smart Secured Nodes page on our website for additional information and to find links to helpful resources that will speed up your development.

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