Low-power ARM-based MCU adds security features

March 22, 2017 Rich Nass, Embedded Computing Brand Director

The growth of the IoT has propelled the growth of attacks, malicious and otherwise. To that end, Microchip has developed the CEC1702 hardware cryptography-enabled microcontroller (MCU) which addresses this need for increased security. The CEC1702 is a low-power, full-featured 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4-based MCU that offers easy-to-use encryption, authentication, and private and public key capabilities.

The CEC1702 defends against attacks in myriad ways, including:

  • Pre-boot authentication of system firmware: Providing an immutable identity and a root of trust to ensure that the firmware is untouched and hasn’t been corrupted
  • Firmware update authentication: Verifying that the firmware update has not been corrupted and is from a trusted source
  • Authentication of system critical commands: Attesting that any system-critical command is from a known source with authorization to make the given change, preventing potentially devastating actions
  • Protection of secrets with encryption: Safeguarding code and data to prevent theft or malicious activities

A full development suite is available to simplify authentication and encryption to connected designs. This includes hardware and software tools as well as peripheral libraries and crypto Application Program Interfaces (APIs). The CEC1702 is available in production volume for $2.60 each in lots of 10,000.

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