Renesas adds security features to hardware/software Synergy offering

February 23, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Renesas Electronics is starting a beta program based on its Synergy Platform that provides heightened security capabilities to OEMs who build devices connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Synergy Platform Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) solution consists of Synergy Security Microcontrollers (MCUs) plus the associated Synergy Software and tools enabling OEMs to better protect their software IP from theft and cloning during manufacture, to inhibit counterfeit products, and to ensure authenticity when deploying secure remote firmware updates to end-products already in the field that use Synergy MCUs. Secure lifecycle management is, says Renesas, the foundation to maintaining the integrity of end-products.

IoT devices are subject to risks that span product disruption, system hijacking, eavesdropping, and product cloning. Not only do improperly secured IoT devices have the potential to expose private information to unauthorised parties, but they can also be exploited to shut down or damage vital industrial infrastructure. Due to rapidly evolving threats, the protection mechanisms for security attacks at the time of end-product shipment may become out-of-date, which means that end-products in [the end-] customer’s hands should be updated with newer protection mechanisms over the product’s lifetime. IP protection is a further dimension.

The Synergy Platform DLM solution will include several components and features to protect connected IoT devices that are built upon the Synergy Platform including:

Synergy Security MCUs – Pre-programmed MCUs from Renesas to establish a Root-of-Trust that uniquely personalises each device.

Updated Synergy Software Package (SSP) – Software drivers, APIs, and middleware from Renesas to enable Synergy Security MCUs at the device level.

Example tools from Renesas to manage, deploy, and program encrypted firmware files securely into Synergy Security MCU device in two scenarios – (1) A manufacturing environment of an end-product that also includes options for provisioning and for limiting the number of MCU devices that are programmed. (2) A remote firmware update of deployed end-products.

A development kit to host a Synergy Security MCU device to simulate and evaluate the secure manufacturing and remote update scenarios.

These components and features of the Synergy Platform DLM solution afford OEMs the freedom to select