By Jim
Harrison

ARM TechCon
in Santa Clara is in full swing and there are a number of interesting
innovations being discussed. The technical sessions, occurring Tuesday, October
25th, through Thursday, October 27th, focus a lot — a real lot — on security and IoT. You
could be a security expert after a couple of days here.

Tuesday keynote

Masayoshi
Son, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of SoftBank Group Corp. — the new owner
of ARM — reassured everyone that ARM would continue business as usual. He
talked about an interesting perspective. 500 million years ago, the earth was
in the middle of the Cambrian explosion when just a few species changed to tens
of thousands — evolution. One of those new species was the trilobite, the first
species with vision, and this forever changed the earth.

GAJH_Techcon_1_Dec2016

Fig. 1: 
Masayoshi Son, Softbank CEO.

Masayoshi
said that he thinks the present day is similar in that we are in for the IoT
explosion — a period of big change of which he wants to be a part. Now is the
time, and that is why he purchased ARM. He noted that he is interested in
discussing the long-term goals and vision of ARM. He is not interested in
day-to-day operations or quarterly results.

ARM CEO
Simon Segars said that the financial support of Softbank will allow ARM to do
more and reach higher.

New cores

The new ARM Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 ARMv8-M-based processor cores are ARM TrustZone technology-capable,
greatly adding to security features available for even the smallest of embedded
devices. The new processors make it easier for developers to create very
energy-efficient, secure, and connected IoT devices. The M33 is based on the
Cortex-M3 and M4, while the M23 is based on the Cortex-M0 and M0+.

Connected
device designs with microcontrollers using the new cores
will benefit from the protection offered by the security-critical
functionality, such as secure boot, cryptography, identity, and key management,
provisioning, and update of the devices. 

GAJH_Techcon_2_Dec2016

Fig. 2: 
The new Cortex.

The M33 provides
configurable support for TrustZone, DSP, and floating-point computation. Cortex-M23
is built for small, energy-sipping IoT and embedded products. It extends the
capability of the Cortex-M0 and -M0+ Cores. Both processors are suitable for
functional safety applications, with safety documentation packages to help
silicon partners achieve IEC 6150 SIL3 and ISO 26262 ASIL D certification to
follow.

New sub-systems

The new CoreLink SIE-200 is billed as a secure,
low-power foundation for IoT nodes. Its interconnect and TrustZone controllers
provide a hardware-enforced isolation between secure and non-secure
applications. The system has a comprehensive mix of backplane IP to efficiently
secure memory and peripherals and enable designers to target multiple IoT
applications with an optimized ARMv8-M system. It reduces time-to-market and
cost in designing secure systems.

TrustZone CryptoCell-312 further
enhances SoC security with features that include secure storage, key
management, TRNG, and crypto acceleration. It enhances SoC-level security with
features protecting the authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality of code
and data belonging to the chip maker, device maker, service provider, and the
end user. The package provides  security
mechanisms including persistent storage of secrets, rollback prevention,
validation of loaded software, validation of software updates, cryptography, true
random number generation, and strong authentication of parties prior to giving
them access to resources.

The ARM CoreLinkSSE-200 is a new IoT subsystem for Cortex-M33 with integrated and
secure mbed OS and an interface to ARM Cordio wireless radio IP. The sub-system
offers the fastest route to silicon for designers using the ARMv8-M
architecture. It combines all of the latest ARM IP to provide a foundation for
building a secure IoT node. The CoreLink SSE-200 Subsystem integrates the
Cortex-M33 processor, the CoreLink SIE-200, power infrastructure, new
instruction caches, secure debug infrastructure, optional TrustZone CryptoCell,
and optional Cordio radio. It also includes mbed OS and secure libraries.

Also new
from ARM is mbed Cloud, a
software-as-a-service. Mbed Cloud
provides secure and scalable IoT device management for any device, any network
and any cloud. It does provisioning and connects a diversity of IoT end nodes,
with cost-effective, secure, and reliable software updating for long secure
product lifetime.

Atmel START

Atmel START
is a web-based, IDE-agnostic, embedded software configuration and deployment
engine, allowing developers to rapidly build custom software platforms and
graphically configure low-level interfaces like system clocks and pin-mux
settings. The new tool allows developers to select low-level drivers, advanced
middleware, RTOS, and high-level communication stacks and configure them for
either evaluation boards using Atmel|SMART ARM-based MCUs or for their own
custom boards. Once the software is configured, the user can download the
project for a variety of supported development systems, including Atmel Studio
7, IAR, Embedded Workbench, and Keil.

Live Recorder from
Undo

Undo
Software’s “Live Recorder” changes the process of debugging, particularly for
companies porting from legacy hardware architectures to ARM or for those
migrating to newer versions of the ARM architecture. It is a library that can
be embedded in your code which, when activated, allows Linux and Android
programs to make a detailed recording of themselves so that developers have a
complete record of their program’s execution, including the bugs that were
generated during the porting process.

Renesas Electronics Sandbox

Renesas Electronics
introduced the IoT Sandbox — said to simplify embedded design prototyping for
connected devices. It is the comprehensive cloud-based environment where
customers and partners can prototype their IoT solutions and accelerate their
innovation. This end-to-end prototyping environment bridges embedded design to
the cloud for prescriptive, predictive, and real-time analytics-based
applications.

NXP introduced MCUXpresso

NXP
Semiconductors announced MCUXpresso software and tools, a new common toolkit
for Kinetis and LPC MCUs designed to significantly reduce development time and
cost by providing embedded designers with high-quality tools that work
seamlessly together and in conjunction with the best tools from the Cortex-M
ecosystem.

The set of tools include: an open-source SDK with drivers, stacks,
middleware, and application examples; an easy-to-use IDE for editing, compiling,
and debugging; and a suite of system configuration tools for power
optimization, pin multiplexing, system clocking, and more.