ARM adds security to IoT MCU cores

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ARM has launched its first Cortex-M series MCU cores featuring the Trustzone security mechanism in the hope the processors will provide embedded systems with better defences against hacking. Both are based on the v8-M architecture announced in November 2015.

Nandan Nayampally, VP of marketing in ARM’s CPU group, said: “The Cortex-M33 succeeds the Cortex-M3/M4 line, while the Cortex-M23 takes on some of the constrained applications championed by the Cortex-M0 and M0+.” The M33 is configurable for DSP and floating-point processing.

ARM has also introduced the Corelink SIE-200 and SSE-200 on chip interconnects, which add security control bits to the address lines to prevent unwanted access to sensitive peripherals. As well providing an optional cryptocontroller that interfaces to the central processor through the SIE-200 interconnect, ARM has developed a tightly coupled coprocessor interface for custom accelerators.

ARM has also launched a cloud based device management service. Michael Horne, VP of sales for ARM’s IoT group, said the mBed Cloud service will support ‘any cloud software’ used by the customer, using CoAP and LWM2M to communicate with managed devices. These can run either mBed OS natively or, for a subset of the services, a client application ported to Linux or a third party RTOS running on an ARM or other processor architecture.