The ATECC608A secure element and new Security Design Partner Program provide the parts and partners needed for designing secure solutions
21 November 2017, New Delhi — From remote cyber-attacks to the creation of counterfeit products, security threats are wide-spread and affect all industries. When carried out, these threats can translate into substantial losses in recovery costs, service revenue and perhaps most significantly, in brand equity. Implementing robust security into new and existing designs to protect Intellectual Property (IP) and enable trusted authentication of connected devices is critical. To protect against these threats, Microchip Technology Inc. has created the ATECC608A CryptoAuthentication device, a secure element that allows developers to add hardware-based security to their designs. Microchip has also established a Security Design Partner Program for connecting developers with third-party partners that can enhance and expedite secure designs.
The foundation of secured communication is the ability to create, protect and authenticate a device’s unique and trusted identity. By keeping a device’s private keys isolated from the system in a secured area, coupled with its industry-leading cryptography practices, the ATECC608A provides a high level of security that can be used in nearly any type of design. Primary features of the ATECC608A include:
- Best-in-class key generation: The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)-compliant Random Number Generator (RNG) generates unique keys compliant with the latest requirements from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing an easier path to a whole-system FIPS certification.
- Boot validation capabilities for small systems: New commands facilitate the signature validation and digest computation of the host microcontroller (MCU) firmware for systems with small MCUs, such as an ARM® Cortex®-M0+, as well as for more robust embedded systems.
- Trusted authentication for LoRa nodes: The AES-128 engine also makes security deployments for LoRa infrastructures possible by enabling authentication of trusted nodes within a network.
- Fast cryptography processing: The hardware-based integrated Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) algorithms create smaller keys and establishes a certificate-based root of trust more quickly and securely than other implementation approaches that rely on legacy methods.
- Tamper-resistant protections: Anti-tampering techniques protect keys from physical attacks and attempted intrusions after deployment. These techniques allow the system to preserve a secured and trusted identity.
- Trusted in-manufacturing provisioning: Companies can use Microchip’s secured manufacturing facilities to safely provision their keys and certificates, eliminating the risk of exposure during manufacturing.
“Security is essential for today’s connected applications, especially for those spanning from hardware to the cloud,” said Nuri Dagdeviren, vice president of Microchip’s Secure Products Group. “This is why Microchip offers both proven hardware security solutions and an unprecedented level of partnership with leading cloud providers, giving our customers all the building blocks to create secure solutions that protect their IP, brand value and revenue streams.”
In addition to providing hardware security solutions, customers have access to Microchip’s Security Design Partner Program. These industry-leading companies, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform, provide complementary cloud-driven security models and infrastructure. Other partners are well-versed in implementing Microchip’s security devices and libraries. Whether designers are looking to secure an Internet of Things (IoT) application or add authentication capabilities for consumables, such as cartridges, or accessories, the expertise of the Security Design Partners can reduce both development cost and time to market.
“The work done on the ATECC608A chip through our collaboration with Microchip enables Google IoT customers to get a new offering that provides high levels of security with a seamless onboarding experience,” said Antony Passemard, Product Management Lead for Google Cloud IoT.
For rapid prototyping of secure solutions designers can use the new CryptoAuth Xplained Pro evaluation and development kit (ATCryptoAuth-XPRO-B) which is an add-on board, compatible with any Microchip Xplained or XplainedPro evaluation boards.