Dev Kit Weekly: Intrinsic ID's BK Software IP via (100 FREE!) STM32 Nucleo 144 Development Boards
April 22, 2022
A quick glance shows that the board includes ST Zio connectors that provide access to the Arduino Uno V3 shield ecosystem for prototyping and application expansion, as well as ST morpho extension pin headers for accessing the STM32 MCU’s I/Os. The board also has a couple of USB OTG ports for power and connecting to a host, and can be programmed and debugged using an ST-LINK/V2-1 debugger and programmer, too.
On the software side, it’s compatible with the SW4STM32 and STM32CubeL4 embedded software environments; toolchains like IAR’s Embedded Workbench for Arm, Keil MDK-Arm, and Arm mbed online; and GCC-based IDEs. You can develop on the Nucleo-L4A6ZG so long as you have a machine that runs Windows 7, 8, or 10, 64-bit Linux, or macOS.
But back to the memory. Who knew it could be so interesting that it warrants two mentions in in the same Dev Kit Weekly? Well, here’s why.
The reason we’re reviewing this particular kit is that it, alongside basically any other kit with an SRAM-based microcontroller, works with Intrinsic ID’s BK Software IP. For those of you unfamiliar with Intrinsic ID, the company is a leader in embedded system security most notably in the form of SRAM Physical Unclonable Function (PUFs) hardware IP, which is an incredibly unique technology being adopted more and more as a hardware Root-of-Trust (RoT).
SRAM PUFs take advantage of sub-micron process variations in the SRAM transistors themselves that give off a unique signature when the transistors are powered on. This unique signature can be used to generate truly unclonable functions that provide the basis for RoT root keys and subsequent private and public keys that protect stored data, communicate securely with the outside world, and so on.
BK Software IP moves the SRAM PUF to software. It filters out noise from the inherently entropic uninitialized SRAM signal and uses it to create intrinsic PUF keys that are never actually stored – just reconstructed on demand later using that SRAM’s unique fingerprint. These keys can act as the root key for a RoT, which itself can be subsequently used in the creation of public/private key pairs.
Different configurations of BK Software IP also support a scalable number of out-of-the-box cryptographic functions developers can access from host software via API. These functions include:
- Randomness & Key Generation Functions
- Symmetric Key Crypto Functions
- Elliptic Curve Crypto Functions
- Other Core Functions
When paired with BK Software IP-enabled secure key vaults, these functions facilitate operations ranging from device-unique key derivation and random number generation to key wrapping and management to PKI certificate signing requests. But the most significant feature of the software solution is that it can be used on any MCU or microprocessor, new or legacy, in development or in the field, on any process node between 5 nm to 350 nm.
The ability to implement a robust, HSM grade root of trust, through software, in new devices OR those already deployed in the field is a game changer for IoT device security, everywhere. And if you’re looking to change the game, we’ve got a stack for you.
Engineers can download a free trial of BK Software IP, complete with documentation, examples, and demos, from www.intrinsic-id.com/resources/bk-demo-cortex-m. And as an added bonus, qualified engineers who get the demo and fill out the form below will also receive one of 100 Nucleo-L4A6ZG development boards for absolutely free.
But not only that, we’re also going to help get you on your way to securing the next (or maybe the current) generation of IoT devices with an Embedded Toolbox Live webcast on May 18th in which Intrinsic ID engineers will walk through how BK Software IP can be used to:
- Create a unique device identity,
- Securely store multiple keys on or off chip
- Provision the device with a certificate
- Verify the device’s authenticity with a challenge-response protocol
- all before answering your security questions on the spot.
Then they’ll answer all of your security questions right there on the spot.
To sign up for free, go to www.bigmarker.com/Embedded-Computing-Design/Democratizing-Silicon-Roots-of-Trust-with-Software or do a web search for “Democratizing Silicon Roots of Trust with Software.”
That was a lot, but we had a lot of time to make up and a lot of ground to cover. It’s all worth it if we set you on the right path to creating more secure IoT devices, which now appears to be easier than ever.
Good luck in the raffle. We’ll see you in our May 18th webinar and next week on Dev Kit Weekly.