Microchip Grows Its Secure Authentication Set With Six New ICs
At Embedded World last week, Microchip rolled out its expanded portfolio of security solutions that provide strong authentication and encryption capabilities in electronic systems
With increasing connectivity, the importance of embedded security has moved to center stage. To keep pace, system developers and architects need easy-to-use and cost-optimized security solutions that are industry compliant.
Seeking to meet those needs, last week at Embedded World 2023, Microchip announced an expansion of its secure authentication device portfolio with six new products in its CryptoAuthentication and CryptoAutomotive IC families.
Microchip has released six new devices in its CryptoAuthentication and CryptoAutomotive IC families. Image used courtesy of Microchip
The new devices use a dedicated software tool called Trust Platform Design Suite, a scalable service that allows cryptographic assets of any size to be used in any project ranging from tens of devices to large-scale deployments across industries.
Embedded Security in a Connected World
Embedded security is becoming increasingly important in today's interconnected world. As more devices use the internet, they become vulnerable to cyber-attacks, making embedded security a critical component for protecting sensitive information and preventing unauthorized access to these devices. Embedded security involves using hardware and software security mechanisms to protect against malicious attacks and ensure the safety and privacy of data.
One of the key reasons why embedded security is important is that it can help prevent cyber-attacks. Devices connected to the internet are at risk of being hacked, and the consequences of a successful cyber-attack can be catastrophic.
For example, a cyber-attack on a power grid or a hospital's network could have devastating effects. Embedded security can help prevent these types of attacks by providing a layer of protection that is difficult for hackers to bypass.
Another reason why embedded security is important is that it can protect sensitive information. Many devices store or transmit sensitive information, such as personal or financial data. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft or fraud. Embedded security can help protect this information by encrypting it, making it difficult for hackers to access it even if they manage to gain access to the device.
CryptoAuthentication and CryptoAutomotive Technology
Microchip's CryptoAuthentication and CryptoAutomotive technologies are two security solutions designed to provide strong authentication and encryption capabilities in electronic systems. These technologies use secure elements, which are tamper-resistant chips that contain cryptographic keys and are designed to provide a safe environment for storing sensitive data.
CryptoAuthentication includes APIs for storing, retrieving, and manipulating X.509 certificates and for Transport Layer Security (TLS) integration. Image used courtesy of Microchip
CryptoAuthentication technology is an authentication solution that uses secure elements to generate and store cryptographic keys, which are then used to authenticate devices or users. This technology provides a tamper-proof way to authenticate devices, preventing unauthorized access and ensuring that only trusted devices access sensitive data or systems. This technology is particularly useful in applications such as IoT, payment systems, and access control, where secure and reliable authentication is essential.
CryptoAutomotive technology, on the other hand, is a security solution designed specifically for the automotive industry. It uses secure elements to provide strong authentication and encryption capabilities to protect against cyber-attacks on connected vehicles. This technology provides a trusted platform for communication between different electronic systems in an automobile, preventing unauthorized access and protecting against malicious attacks.
New Additions to the Authentication IC Portfolio
Microchip's new products associated with embedded security provide a range of authentication and security features for electronic devices. Each product targets a different dimension of device authentication and provides distinct performance and security features.
ECC204: ECC-P256 signature and Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC)
ECC206: Two-pin parasitic power, ECC-P256 signature and HMAC
SHA104: Client SHA256 MAC
SHA105: Host SHA256 CheckMAC
SHA106: Two-pin parasitic power and client SHA256 MAC
TA010: AEC-Q100 Grade 1-qualified CryptoAutomotive IC
ECC204 and ECC206 are Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) based secure elements that provide strong authentication and encryption capabilities. ECC204 supports the NIST P-256 curve, while ECC206 supports the NIST P-384 curve. These products allow secure key storage and management, enabling secure device authentication and safe communication between devices.
At Microchip’s Embedded World booth last week, All About Circuits Editor-in-Chief Jeff Child was briefed by Nicolas Demoulin, EMEA Marketing Manager, Secure Products Group at Microchip. Demoulin demonstrates the new ECC204, a device targeted for disposable and ecosystem control applications.
Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) Secure Elements
SHA104, SHA105, and SHA106 are secure hash algorithm (SHA) based secure elements. SHA104 supports SHA-256, while SHA105 supports SHA-384, and SHA106 supports SHA-512. These products are designed to provide secure key storage and management, enabling secure device authentication and secure communication between devices.
The TA010 is a TrustAnchor module that provides secure boot and firmware update capabilities. It protects the integrity of the device firmware and prevents unauthorized access. The module contains a secure boot loader, secure storage for cryptographic keys, and a secure boot manager.
In addition, these new devices are compatible with a wide range of microprocessors and microcontrollers. They use standard communication protocols, such as I2C and SPI, to communicate with the host device, making them easy to integrate into existing systems. They also have a small form factor, making them suitable for compact and space-constrained devices.