Engineering 101

Built-in system layer security fortifies IoT application design


Embedded solutions specialist, Cypress Semiconductor, announced a new line of its PSoC 6 microcontrollers (MCUs) designed to give Internet of Things (IoT) designers confidence in the security of their applications. The new PSoC 64 Secure MCUs integrate robust, standards-based system layer security software with the hardware layer features available in the ultra-low-power PSoC 6 architecture.

Specifically, PSoC 64 Secure MCU devices provide an isolated root-of-trust with true attestation and provisioning services. In addition, the line includes devices that deliver a pre-configured secure execution environment supporting the system software of various IoT platforms, providing TLS authentication, secure storage, and secure firmware management.

The MCUs also include a rich execution environment for application development, with an embedded RTOS from Cypress’ ModusToolbox suite that manages communication with the secure execution environment.

PSoC 64 Secure MCUs are one of the first Arm Cortex-M processors to be certified as Level 1 compliant within the Arm Platform Security Architecture (PSA) certification scheme, PSA Certified, utilizing a secure Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M) implementation integrated into the Arm Mbed OS open-source embedded operating system.

Combined with the Arm PSA holistic set of threat models, security analyses, and hardware and firmware architecture specifications, designers can use PSoC 64 Secure MCUs with confidence in their secure applications.

The line is suited for cloud-connected products that require protection of user data and trustworthy firmware updates, including personal healthcare devices, medical and chronic disease management equipment, and home security solutions.

Sudhir Gopalswamy, Executive Vice President of the Microcontrollers and Connectivity Division at Cypress, stated: “User privacy and data protection are becoming ever more critical for IoT devices, especially with governments around the world passing new legislation to protect the public.

“Designing secure IoT devices is not easy, it requires skills spanning the application, system, and hardware layers of an embedded system, but by pre-integrating the system security software into our PSoC 64 Secure MCUs, Cypress provides a trustworthy platform that allows designers to focus on their end-product differentiation.”

Paul Williamson, Vice President and General Manager, Emerging Business Group at Arm, added: “In a world of a trillion connected devices, trust is essential, and it’s our industry’s responsibility to enable this trust. PSA Certified enables IoT solution developers and device makers to verify their solutions have been designed with a secure foundation, in line with PSA principles. Using Arm Mbed OS and Trusted Firmware, Cypress is among the first of our partners to deliver a Level 1 PSA Certified solution with the PSoC 64 Secure family.”

The line of PSoC 64 Secure MCUs is supported in Cypress’ ModusToolbox suite, which will allow designers to select the system firmware of secure IoT platforms, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Arm Pelion and Alibaba, to develop their application, and then configure and verify their secure boot images. The MCUs include a hardware-based root-of-trust consisting of secured storage and firmware, establishing a command-based set of trusted services.

The root-of-trust includes hardware accelerated cryptography, as well as true random number generation (TRNG). The ModusToolbox suite brings best-in-class connectivity, processing, sensing, and security together in a unified environment, providing open access to third-party solutions, freeing engineers to focus on delivering high-value, differentiated products.

Source Cypress

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