Microchip unveils industry’s first automotive security development kit

Microchip has announced the CryptoAutomotive In-Vehicle Network (IVN) TrustAnchor/Border Security Device (TA/BSD) development kit.

This tool enables OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to introduce security to networked vehicle systems, starting in areas of priority, with what Microchip describes as “the highest level of protection”, without disruption elsewhere.

According to Microchip, this is the only security-specific automotive tool that’s been designed to emulate a secure node in an automotive network and to provide system designers with a starting point for implementing security.

Designed to be flexible, the tool accommodates each OEM’s implementation by allowing manufacturers to configure the node to conform to various specifications and industry standards. The tool demonstrates secure key storage, Electronic Control Unit (ECU) authentication, hardware-based crypto accelerators and other cryptographic elements.When used with a host microcontroller, it enables designers to implement functions such as secure boot and Controller Area Network (CAN) message authentication, including conversion of CAN 2.0 messages to CAN Flexible Data rate (CAN-FD) with appended Message Authentication Codes (MAC) when appropriate.

With the companion approach, the TA/BSD emulation kit enables OEMs to continue using their existing microcontrollers (MCUs) and existing MCU firmware certified to required safety standards by later adding the companion chip the kit emulates. These companion chips will come to the customer pre-programmed and include built-in security measures to provide true hardware-based key protection.

Microchip says this add-on approach can deliver cost and time-to-market advantages, compared to the alternative of redesigning the system with a high-end secure MCU. This can entail significant re-architecture of the MCU firmware to implement secure zones with hardware and software domains.

The tool can be used with any ECU, architecture, configuration or bus, providing the flexibility to implement security in existing systems without large-scale redesigns. The companion chip solution requires minimal MCU code updates, resulting in minimal to no impact to existing host MCU functional safety ratings. This approach also removes the requirement for in-house security expertise. The tool provides an online Graphical User Interface (GUI) program with pre-configured options to simplify and facilitate implementation.

Author
Bethan Grylls