Also offers development kit for ARM-based devices that connect through Microsoft Azure

Brian Santo,
contributing writer

Microchip Technology’s
CEC1702 microcontroller (MCU) now supports the Device Identity Composition
Engine (DICE) security technology developed by The Trusted Development Group
(TCG). Companies that develop devices for IoT applications can use the MCU to
automatically imbue their products with hardware-level, cryptography-based
security.

  

Security technology is
complex; attacks keep getting more sophisticated, and the number of threat vectors
keeps increasing. In addition, few developers have staff with the relevant
security expertise. Further, building effective home-grown security technology
can be expensive, making the addition of security prohibitive.

 

As a result, several
semiconductor companies, including Microchip, Micron, ARM, Intel, Qualcomm and
others are building security directly into their products designed for the IoT
market. ARM, for example, recently devised a security
“platform”
that covers processors, an operating system,
and network connectivity.

 

TCG’s DICE architecture breaks the
boot process into layers and creates unique cryptographic keys, providing a
measure of integrity for each layer. If malware is detected, the system
automatically re-keys.

 

According to Micron, one
of the benefits of using the secure boot features of the CEC1702 with the DICE
standard is that it enables equipment manufacturers to create a chain of trust
for multiple loads of firmware, which is especially important for customers
concerned with authenticating system-critical commands, such as in applications
like power plants or online server databases.

 

Meanwhile, Microsoft has
been positioning Azure as a secure network for IoT applications, which is
context for the other part of Microchip’s recent announcement. Along with
integrating DICE into its MCU, Microchip also is making available a new CEC1702
IoT development kit
for Microsoft Azure
IoT. 

The kit comes with a
programmable 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller and sample code to quickly
develop a secure, cloud-connected solution (this is the ARM processor at the
heart of the ARM
security platform
).

“As the IoT landscape
continues to increase with security threats, customers can turn to Microchip’s
IoT development kit to quickly and easily connect devices to the cloud and
incorporate DICE security standards in their product,” said Sam George,
director, Microsoft Azure IoT at Microsoft Corp., in a statement. “The
development kit enables customers to implement the DICE standard into a
device’s hardware while also benefiting from Microsoft Azure’s security and
privacy features.”

 

The CEC1702Q-B2-I/SX is
available in production volume for $3.14 each in 5,000-unit quantities. The
CEC1702 IoT development kit (DM990013-BNDL) is available for $199.99.