Hardware Cryptography-Enabled Microcontroller Helps Designers Solve Security Issues

09 March 2017

CEC1702 microcontroller addresses increasing security issues driven by IoT applications.  CEC1702 microcontroller addresses increasing security issues driven by IoT applications. The CEC1702 hardware cryptography-enabled microcontroller from Microchip Technology Inc. addresses the increasing need for security measures, such as secure boot, driven by the continual growth of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The full-featured ARM® Cortex®-M4-based microcontroller provides a complete hardware cryptography-enabled solution in a single package.

The low-power, but powerful, programmable 32-bit microcontroller offers easy-to-use encryption, authentication, private and public key capabilities and allows customer programming flexibility to minimize customer risk. The CEC1702 also provides significant performance improvements when compared to firmware-based solutions.

The device’s hardware cryptographic cipher suite reduces compute time by orders of magnitude over software solutions, and, as an example, provides 20-50x performance improvement for PKE acceleration as well as 100x improvement for encryption/decryption. This robust hardware-based feature set results in applications that can run security measures quickly, effectively and with significantly lower cost and power consumption. 

Whether it’s being used as a security coprocessor or as a standalone microcontroller, the CEC1702 delivers a multi-dimensional defense against attacks, 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.

Microchip simplifies adding authentication and encryption to connected designs by offering a full development suite, including hardware and software tools as well as peripheral libraries and crypto Application Program Interfaces (APIs) to speed up design cycles.

The CEC1702Q-B1-SX is available in production volume for $2.60 per device in 10k unit quantities.

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