embedded.com: Microchip offers single chip secure MCU

Microchip offers single MCU with secure subsystem and Arm TrustZone

A single 32-bit MCU protects products and end user from remote or physical attacks on smart home devices, smartphone or tablet accessories, portable medical devices, wearables, connected appliances and industrial robots.

For internet of things (IoT) devices, embedded security is essential, but this might involve designing with multiple chips to implement the necessary security functions. To address this, Microchip has launched what it said is the first microcontroller (MCU) to combine a secure subsystem and Arm TrustZone technology in a single package.

Microchip single chip secure MCU
(Image: Microchip)

The new PIC32CM LS60 combines Arm TrustZone technology and the Common Criteria Joint Interpretation Library (JIL) “high” rated Trust Platform secure subsystem, enabling developers to implement industry-proven security practices and countermeasures to protect against a wide class of known remote and physical attacks. These designs are supported with tools such as MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) TrustZone Manager and the Trust Platform Design Suite to simplify the configuration of the secure subsystem. The Microchip Trust Platform provisioning service is also available to securely provision keys and certificates.

The benefit is that the new device makes it easier to develop end products using one microcontroller rather than two or more semiconductor chips. A single 32-bit MCU can be incorporated to protect products and the end user from remote or physical attacks on their smart home devices, smartphone or tablet accessories, portable medical devices, wearables, connected appliances and industrial robots.

The vice president of Microchip Technology’s 32-bit MCU business unit, Rod Drake, said, “With its integration of Arm TrustZone technology and Microchip’s secure subsystem in one package, the PIC32CM LS60 is an offering that the market hasn’t seen before. We believe this MCU’s security, ease of use and low-power operation will be a powerful shift in implementing advanced security technology in IoT applications.”

Integrated within the MCU is an enhanced peripheral touch controller with the Driven Shield Plus feature that prevents false touches due to moisture and provides high immunity to noise to enable exceptional touch interfaces. With the increased adoption of touch capabilities in waterproof wearables and modern appliances, this helps embedded designers develop touch interfaces that work well in noisy and moist environments.

The device also features core-independent SleepWalking peripherals and the Event System. These peripherals keep the MCU core in sleep mode for extended periods to reduce power consumption. It also comes with on-chip analog that includes operational amplifiers (op amps), digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) that can be operated in sleep modes and interfaced with a variety of sensors.

The PIC32CM LS60 is compatible with the MPLAB Data Visualizer and Power Debugger tools that can be used to monitor, analyze, and fine tune power consumption numbers in real-time. This makes it easier for customers to develop low-power applications and release extended-battery-life products to market faster.

Microchip said it offers the following development tools and services to support the PIC32CM LS60 and its variants: Trust Platform Provisioning Service, Trust Platform Design Suite (TPDS), MPLAB Harmony v3 platform with MPLAB Code Configurator for Arm TrustZone, Touch Library, Touch Configurator, MPLAB Data Visualizer, Power Debugger, PIC32CM LE00 Curiosity Pro Evaluation Kit, PIC32CM LS00 Curiosity Pro Evaluation Kit, PIC32CM LS60 Curiosity Pro Evaluation Kit, PIC32CM LE00 Ultra-Low-Power, Water-Tolerant Touch Reference Design, MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and its ecosystem of debuggers, programmers and compilers.

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