SAN JOSE, CA – At the ARM TechCon conference today ARM announced a comprehensive portfolio of products and services that promises to greatly simplify the creation of secure IoT systems. The core, operating system, and cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) collection aims to accelerate IoT chip to cloud development both for ARM manufacturing licensees as well as their design customers. The offerings target low- to mid/high-end applications and aim to make energy-harvesting a viable power option for many designs.
“The next shift in the IoT requires better efficiency, security, and ability to scale,” ARM computer group's vice president of strategy Nandan Nayampally told EE Times in a briefing. To address that need in a way that also speeds development, he added, ARM created an integrated offering that enhanced security at each stage of the IoT system. The offering includes processor cores with a TrustZone protected execution environment, a processor bus that extends that TrustZone to memory and peripherals, and CryptoCell hardware that supports secure boot, key management, and the like. Along with these cores, he noted, ARM is offering a sub-one-volt 802.15.4 radio, and pre-designed system IP with operating system software for SoC creation.
The IoT design portfolio announced today starts with two cores based on the new ARMv8-M architecture. The M33 is a general-purpose, 32-bit processor with TrustZone technology, DSP extensions, and floating-point capability. It also offers a coprocessor interface for tightly coupling custom acceleration hardware. The M23 is a more basic core targeting ultra-low-power applications while still offering TrustZone protection. Nayampally noted that the M23 is 75% smaller and 50% more efficient than the M33, and that both processors are suitable for functional safety applications.
The CyptoCell-312 can work with either core to further enhance security. The cell brings secure storage, key management, a true random number generator, and crypto acceleration to a chip design.
Along with the processor cores ARM has developed system IP that extends TrustZone security features beyond the core itself. The CoreLink SIE-200 bus is pre-verified with ARMv8-M processors and builds on the AHB5 bus matrix to provide hardware-enforced isolation between secure and non-secure applications and is configurable to meet a variety of architectural needs. The bus uses the AMBA protocol for per-transaction secure signaling through the system.
ARM has also gone beyond cores with the creation of a complete IoT subsystem out of its core components.