Microchip releases latest security IC for automotive software

By Ken Briodagh

Senior Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

November 16, 2023


Microchip releases latest security IC for automotive software

The automotive industry is rapidly transforming into a software-driven one (if you’ll excuse the pun), and some would say it’s already there. Along with the benefits that come comes the need for increased security measures.

As necessary, new government and OEM cybersecurity requirements for the automotive industry are beginning to include larger key sizes and Edwards Curve ed25519 algorithm standards.

Now, in response, Microchip Technology has announced its latest TrustAnchor Security IC, the TA101, which is designed to accommodate complex automotive and embedded security use cases, according to the release. The TA101 supports large key sizes up to ECC P521, SHA512, RSA-4K and AES256 with greater security strength that exceeds current standards and leaves room for future adjustments while maintaining backward compatibility for smaller keys, Microchip said. The IC is offered as an industrial-grade CryptoAuthentication Security IC and as a CryptoAutomotive Security IC to support AEC-Q100 Grade 1 qualified devices.

This latest in Microchip’s portfolio of security ICs supports not only automotive security, but also data center and industrial applications. It reportedly works with a microcontroller (MCU) or microprocessor (MPU) to handle all cryptographic functions, including public key infrastructure, certificate management, and secure key storage requirements. The TA101 also provides patch updates, message authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS), secure boot, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), firmware updates, security upgrades, ownership transfer, key management and WPC Qi 1.3 authentication, the company said.

“It is vitally important for OEMs to not only comply with current standards, but also be one step ahead when it comes to security. By introducing key sizes associated with 256-bit security strength, the TA101 offers great diversity of key strengths now and future applications,” said Nuri Dagdeviren, Corporate VP, Secure Computing Group, Microchip. “Additionally, Microchip’s modular security solution approach allows customers to select an optimally sized and priced MCU based on the module’s focus application, while standardizing a single security solution that meets virtually all safety requirements.”

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The TA101 offers the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) required 1.0 suite of algorithms and the ed25519 curve in a single IC. To reduce the risk associated with secure code development and deployment, it comes pre-programmed and preset in Microchip Common Criteria ALC_DVS.2 certified facilities.

The TA101 is available starting at $1.60 each in 10,000 units.

Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers he would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars. In past lives, he has been a short-order cook, telemarketer, medical supply technician, funeral home mover, pirate, poet, part-alliterist, parent, partner, and heir to the throne. Most of his feats are either exaggerated or blatantly false.

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