Microchip releases first 32-bit MCUs to feature chip-level security

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Microchip has unveiled new families of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) which have been designed to address the need for security in Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints.

The SAM L10 and SAM L11 MCUs have been designed to protect themselves against the increasing risk associated with the Internet of Things, such as exposing intellectual property (IP) and sensitive information.

Both are based on the Arm Cortex-M23 core, with the SAM L11 featuring Arm TrustZone for Armv8-M, a programmable environment that provides hardware isolation between certified libraries, IP and application code.

According to Microchip, 'robust' levels of security have been achieved by including chip-level tamper resistance, secure boot and secure key storage which, when combined with TrustZone technology, protects customer applications from both remote and physical attacks.

Both MCUs offer very low power consumption, as well as capacitive touch capability, water tolerance and noise immunity. The SAM L10 has received a ULPMark score of 405, which represents a 200 percent improvement over its nearest competitor, and has been certified by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC).

Microchip uses proprietary picoPower technology to provide low power consumption in active and all sleep modes.

In addition to TrustZone technology, the SAM L11 security features include an on-board cryptographic module supporting Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Galois Counter Mode (GCM) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA). The secure boot and secure key storage with tamper detection capabilities establish a hardware root of trust. It also offers secure bootloader for secure firmware upgrades.

Microchip said that it had partnered with Trustonic, a member of Microchip’s Security Design Partner Programme, to offer a comprehensive security solution framework that simplifies implementation of security and will enable customers to introduce end products faster. Microchip has also partnered with Secure Thingz and Data I/O Corporation to offer secure provisioning services for SAM L11 customers that have a proven security framework.

Both MCU families offer Microchip’s latest-generation Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for capacitive touch capabilities. Designers will be able to add touch interfaces that provide a smooth and efficient user experience, even in the presence of moisture and noise while maintaining low power consumption. The touch interface makes the devices suitable for automotive, appliance, medical and consumer Human Machine Interface (HMI) applications.

SAM L10 (DM320204) and SAM L11 (DM320205) Xplained Pro Evaluation Kits, are available to help development.

All SAM L10/L11 MCUs are supported by the Atmel Studio 7 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), IAR Embedded Workbench, Arm Keil MDK as well as Atmel START, a free online tool to configure peripherals and software for accelerated development. START also supports TrustZone technology for configuring and deploying secure applications.

A power debugger and data analyser tool is available to monitor and analyse power consumption in real-time and fine-tune the consumption numbers on-the-fly to meet application needs. Microchip’s QTouch Modular Library, 2D Touch Surface Library and QTouch Configurator are also available to simplify touch development.

The SAM L10 and SAM L11 devices are available in a variety of pin counts and package options.