Collaboration Between STMicroelectronics and AWS Expands Secure IoT connections to the AWS Cloud

By Chad Cox

Production Editor

Embedded Computing Design

May 12, 2022


Image Provided by STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics released a new AWS FreeRTOS-qualified, TF-M-based reference implementation, working in conjunction with Amazon Web Services (AWS), an ST Authorized partner, to easily and securely connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the AWS cloud.

According to the companies, the jointly created solution combines ST’s STM32U5 ultra-low-power microcontrollers (MCUs)FreeRTOS open-source real-time operating system, and Arm trusted-firmware for embedded systems (TF-M). The reference implementation is realized on ST’s B-U585I-IOT02A discovery kit for IoT nodes with STM32U5 MCUs, which contains rich features including USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth® Low Energy connectivity, as well as multiple sensors. The STSAFE-A110 secure element support is being added and comes pre-loaded with IoT object credentials. It helps secure and simplifies attachment between the connected objects and the AWS cloud.

FreeRTOS contains a kernel enhanced for resource-constrained embedded systems and software libraries for connecting various types of IoT endpoints to the AWS cloud or other edge devices.

The Arm TF-M firmware streamlines the protection of embedded systems, including services for secure boot, secure storage, cryptography, and attestation, forming the basis of a trusted execution environment (TEE) on the device. Designed for Arm v8-M architectures, TF-M integrates readily with TrustZone® on ST’s STM32U5 MCUs, which feature the Arm Cortex-M33 core.

ST’s STM32U5 MCUs target demanding IoT-edge applications, featuring the advanced 160MHz Cortex-M33 core with Arm TrustZone technology and Armv8-M mainline security extension, up to 2Mbytes on-chip Flash, and extreme power-saving features.

The MCUs have attained PSA Certified Level-3 and SESIP 3 certifications with hardware cryptographic accelerators, secure firmware installation and update, and enhanced resistance to physical attacks.

The efficient design simplifies powering the application and extends battery lifetime in remote applications. Included are three different stop modes maximizing openings to operate at the lowest possible power and ST’s batch-acquisition mode that captures peripheral data even while the core is powered down.

“FreeRTOS, backed by our long-term support libraries, is the perfect platform for connecting resource-constrained devices to powerful cloud services,” said Dave Kranzler, GM, IoT Devices, AWS. “Working with ST to integrate industry-standard Arm open-source secure TF-M software and the STM32U5 MCU’s security features lets developers quickly build edge-to-cloud solutions that resist cyber threats.”

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Chad Cox. Production Editor, Embedded Computing Design, has responsibilities that include handling the news cycle, newsletters, social media, and advertising. Chad graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in Cultural and Analytical Literature.

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