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 pardon the pun), and some would say it is already there. Along with the advantages that brings, comes the need for heightened security measures.

Seeing that necessity, new government and automotive OEM cybersecurity requirements 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, exceeding current standards and allowing room for future adjustments while maintaining backwards compatibility for smaller keys, Microchip said. The IC is being 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 not only supports automotive security, but also data center and industrial applications. It reportedly works alongside 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, transfer of ownership, key management and WPC Qi 1.3 authentication, the company said.

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

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

The TA101 is available starting at $1.60 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

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 previous lives, he’s been a short order cook, telemarketer, medical supply technician, mover of the bodies at a funeral home, pirate, poet, partial alliterist, parent, partner and pretender to various thrones. Most of his exploits are either exaggerated or blatantly false.

More from Ken