Crypto-enabled, ARM-based, 32-bit MCU for IoT, from Microchip

May 06, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Claiming significant performance improvements for Internet of Things applications – over firmware-based security solutions – Microchip Technology has added the CEC1302 microcontroller with hardware-based cryptography; the MCU, says Microchip, makes it easy to add security, offering easy-to-use encryption and authentication for programming flexibility and increased levels of security.

The CEC1302 allows for pre-boot authentication of the system firmware in order to ensure that the firmware is untouched and uncorrupted, thereby preventing security attacks such as man-in-the-middle, denial-of-service and backdoor vulnerabilities. It can also be used to authenticate any firmware updates, protecting the system from malware or memory corruption.


The CEC1302 offers private key and customer programming flexibility with a full-featured microcontroller in a single-package solution in order to minimize customer risk. The device provides savings in terms of power drain and also improved execution of application performance. Since the CEC1302 is a full 32-bit microcontroller with an ARM Cortex-M4 core, adding security functionality only results in a small additional cost. The CEC1302 can be used as a standalone security coprocessor or can replace an existing microcontroller. The hardware-enabled public key engine of the device is also 20 to 50 times faster than firmware-enabled algorithms, and the hardware-enabled hashing is 100 times faster.


For development support Microchip cites MikroElektronika’s CEC1302 Clicker (MIKROE-1970) and CEC1302 Clicker 2 (MIKROE-1969). Use these boards with MikroElektronika’s complete development toolchain for Microchip CEC1302 ARM Cortex-M4 MCUs which includes compilers, development boards, programmers/debuggers or with standard third-party ARM MCU toolchains.