Automotive-Grade IC Enhances Vehicle Safety And Security

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The AEC-Q100 Grade 1 secure authenticator helps verify genuine components in ADAS, EV batteries and other electronic systems

Presence of genuine components within vehicle systems is considered to be safe and reliable by many automotive manufacturers. And as cars become more sophisticated with several features, so do the safety and security risks. Although the components help in reducing the growing threat of malware attacks, most secure microcontrollers have a relatively big footprint and require rigorous code testing and debugging.  The bigger the code base is, the higher the risk is of bugs or malware adversely affecting performance. Plus, I²C and SPI interface automotive security solutions may require many interface pins, including dedicated power and reset lines. More pins can lead to higher costs and more reliability issues.

Thus, to enhance safety, security and data integrity for vehicle systems while reducing both complexity and code development, designers and OEMs can now authenticate genuine components with the DS28E40 DeepCover automotive secure authenticator. The DS28E40 DeepCover authenticator is a fixed-function, 1-Wire solution that meets the AEC-Q100 standard Grade 1 performance standards and replaces microcontroller-based approaches. The fixed-function device gives a targeted algorithm and command toolset to meet specific security needs while reducing both system design complexity and associated code development efforts. 

This authenticator IC ensures that only genuine components are used for many electronic systems, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicle batteries.

Public/private key asymmetric ECDSA (ECC-P256 curve) and other key authentication algorithms are built into the IC, allowing OEMs to skip the development of proprietary device-level code. This and other algorithms in the authenticator IC provide a strong defence against unauthorised components that could compromise performance, safety and data integrity. 

The 1-Wire interface combines power and communication on a single pin and thus requires only two interconnects including the ground pin. Fewer interconnect pins reduce cost and further improve reliability by enabling smaller cable harnesses to connect an ECU to a remote endpoint. 

Key Advantages

Robust Security: Built-in symmetric key secure hash algorithm (SHA-256) support; secure storage of ECDSA and SHA-256 keys; one-time programmable nonvolatile memory for storage of digital certificates and manufacturing data; hardware-based security stronger than software approach

Higher Reliability: Dedicated function reduces code size; 1-Wire interface reduces interface pins from 6 to 2

Simple to Integrate: Authentication algorithms built into the IC eliminate device-level development of code; 1-wire interface and low software overhead on host side simplify design integration and do not require external power

“The parasitically powered 1-Wire authenticator really opens up automotive endpoints that can be secured and properly authenticated by adding just one chip,” said Michael Haight, director, Embedded Security at Maxim Integrated. “With the ground plus single contact for power and communication, even a passive automotive component that doesn’t otherwise have electronics could be connected to an engine control unit (ECU) and authenticated.” 

The DS28E40 comes in a compact, 4mm-x-3mm TDFN package and operates over the – 40 degree Celsius to +125 degree Celsius temperature range. The DS28E40 and the DS28E40EVKIT# evaluation kit are available at Maxim Integrated’s website and from authorised distributors. 


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