32-bit MCUs claim ultra-low power consumption, chip-level security with Arm TrustZone technology

By Aalyia Shaukat, contributing

Microchip Technology Inc. recently
released two IoT chips that are specifically designed to simplify product
development while strengthening the security of IoT endpoints — a growing
concern as the number of IoT devices increases rapidly. The SAM L10 and SAM L11 are 32-bit microcontrollers
(MCUs) with chip-level security so that product developers and design engineers
can more readily implement security features protecting sensitive intellectual
property and corporate information.

The SAM L10 and SAM L11 are based
on the Arm Cortex-M23 core and feature extremely low power consumption with
nearly negligible current (

For secure communications, the
cryptographic modules support proven functions such as the Advanced Encryption
Standard (AES), Galois Counter Mode (GCM), and the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA).

The security of IoT devices has
been an ongoing concern since the inception of IoT, particularly for
corporations that carry highly sensitive data. Hackers can get away with
valuable information with minimal effort and negligible costs when compared to
the consequences that a corporation faces. This requires companies to take
efforts on multiple fronts to ensure the security of their devices.

The Arm
technology, in combination with the MCUs’ security features,
protects the devices from both remote and physical attacks. The TrustZone
technology essentially creates two different software environments that run
simultaneously on a single core — one for the “trusted” processes and the other
for the “non-trusted” processes. Any non-secured software is blocked from
accessing the secure portion.

Both MCU series also include
capacitive touch capabilities with excellent water tolerance and noise
immunity, supporting Microchip’s latest-generation
Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for capacitive touch capabilities.

The devices are
available in a variety of pin counts and package options in volume production.
Pricing for the SAM L10 and SAM L11 series starts at $1.09 and $1.22 each,
respectively, in 10,000-unit quantities. SAM L10 and SAM L11 Xplained Pro evaluation kits are available to jumpstart development and are
priced at $58 each. Products can be purchased at microchipDIRECT.