Friday, March 1, 2024

32-Bit MCU With Built-In Security Module

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The 32-bit MCUs with a 300 MHz processor offer embedded protection and diverse connectivity, safeguarding industrial and consumer devices.

MCUs

As the landscape of security threats continues to change and grow in complexity, designers of industrial and consumer devices must prioritize security from the onset of development. Microchip Technology has launched its latest series of PIC32CZ CA 32-bit microcontrollers in response to this need. A 300 MHz Arm Cortex-M7 processor powers these and comes with an embedded Hardware Security Module (HSM) and various Flash memory and connectivity choices to provide more adaptability.

The series offers two versions. The PIC32CZ CA90 comes with an HSM, while the PIC32CZ CA80 does not. The HSM provides a comprehensive solution ensuring heightened security for both industrial and consumer devices. Functioning as a secure enclave, the HSM includes a dedicated MCU that oversees firmware and an array of security functions such as hardware-based secure boot, key management, cryptographic acceleration, and a genuine random number generator, among others.

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For devices demanding advanced security measures, the microcontrollers also offer factory provisioning. Once finalized, this ensures that customers receive devices pre-configured with security features, ready for immediate deployment. Furthermore, Microchip has introduced the Trust Platform Development Suite, a proprietary tool designed to facilitate the seamless incorporation of these security elements into designers’ projects.

The MCUs are versatile in terms of connectivity. They support Universal Synchronous and Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter (USART/UART), Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C), Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), Controller Area Network Flexible Data (CAN FD), High-Speed Universal Serial Bus (USB), and Gigabit Ethernet. For those leveraging the Gigabit Ethernet, it supports Audio Video Bridging (AVB) and Precision Time Protocol (PTP), conforming to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1588 standard.

“The PIC32CZ CA microcontrollers make it easier for our customers to implement embedded security features into their design,” said Rod Drake, corporate vice president of Microchip’s MCU32 business unit. “These are extremely versatile MCUs with the option of factory provisioning at low-volume production and other customizable configurations such as connectivity and memory to fit many different requirements.”

These 32-bit MCUs are known for their high performance and multifunctional capabilities and offer a myriad of features that pave the way for designing innovative products.

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