CryptoAuthentication IC aims to bring security to Connected Car, IoT

February 23, 2015 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
The ATECC508A from Atmel is the first device to integrate ECDH (Elliptic Curve Diffie–Hellman) security protocol—an ultra-secure method to provide key agreement for encryption/decryption, along with ECDSA (Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm) sign-verify authentication—for the Internet of Things (IoT) market including Connected Car, industrial networking and more.

The ATECC508A is the second IC in the company's CryptoAuthentication portfolio with advanced Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) capabilities. With ECDH and ECDSA built in, this device is ideal for the rapidly growing IoT market by easily providing confidentiality, data integrity and authentication in systems with MCU or MPUs running encryption/ decryption algorithms (such as AES) in software. Similar to all Atmel CryptoAuthentication products, the ATECC508A employs ultra-secure hardware-based cryptographic key storage and cryptographic countermeasures which are more secure than software-based key storage.

This next-generation CryptoAuthentication device is compatible with any microcontroller or microprocessor on the market today including Atmel | SMART and Atmel AVR® MCUs and MPUs. As with all CryptoAuthentication devices, the ATECC508A delivers extremely low-power consumption, requires only a single general purpose I/O over a wide voltage range, and available in a tiny form factor, making it ideal for a variety of applications that require longer battery life and flexible form factors.

Key features of the ATECC508A include:

  1. Optimized key storage and authentication;
  2. ECDH operation using stored private key;
  3. ECDSA (elliptic-curve digital signature algorithm) Sign-Verify;
  4. Support for X.509 certificate formats;
  5. 256-bit SHA/HMAC hardware engine;
  6. Multilevel RNG using FIPS SP 800-90A DRBG;
  7. Guaranteed 72-bit unique ID;
  8. I2C and single-wire interfaces;
  9. 2 to 5.5 V operation, 150-nA standby current;
  10. 10.5-kbit EEPROM for secret and private keys;
  11. High Endurance Monotonic Counters;
  12. UDFN, SOIC, and 3-lead contact packages.