“Cryptographic Companion” defends automotive electronics against intruders

November 11, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
“Cryptographic Companion” defends automotive electronics against intruders
The TrustAnchor device from Microchip provides OEMs and their module suppliers with a simplified path to automotive network security, reducing costs and time to market.

Due to the rise of in-vehicle network connections like Bluetooth and LTE/5G, today's vehicles are becoming vulnerable against cyber threats. This, in turn, is driving new cybersecurity regulations and specifications for the automotive market. Helping OEMs and their module suppliers simplify the upgrade of existing designs to meet security requirements for future generations, Microchip Technology Inc. has announced its CryptoAutomotive security IC, the TrustAnchor100 (TA100). This cryptographic companion device supports in-vehicle network security solutions such as secure boot, firmware update and message authentication, including Controller Area Network (CAN) MAC at bus speed.

In order to comply with the new security specifications, automotive designers must rearchitect the vehicle’s electronic control units (ECUs) with secure hardware. Existing solutions in the market include single chip dual core hardware security module (HSM) devices, which require OEMs and their module suppliers to rearchitect their application software to integrate security. In addition to the effort required for this integration, the risk of security holes introduced in disparate implementations pose significant barriers through this path. Third party security software can help overcome this barrier in part with increasing development costs.

The TA100 provides an alternative in-vehicle network architecture implementation for secure boot and message authentication. This is good news. Even better news: the product has already been approved by multiple OEMs as a solution for EVITA Medium and EVITA Full HSM requirements. Its feature set was designed based on careful review of several prominent OEM cybersecurity specifications to help facilitate a Tier 1’s pursuit of OEM Part Production Approval (PPAP). Additionally, Microchip offers security specification and Request for Quote (RFQ) review services to assist Tier 1s in developing educated responses, improving their project award success rate.

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