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New NXP microcontrollers deter security threats in connected applications

Published: February 24, 2015 | Eindhoven, Netherlands and San Jose, California

NXP Semiconductors announced two new microcontroller families, LPC18Sxx and LPC43Sxx, to help embedded developers secure application code and data messages in connected applications against threats such as theft and cloning. The new microcontroller families add support for secure boot and secure messaging to the long list of advanced control, high-speed connectivity, display, advanced timing, and flexible peripheral features for which the popular LPC1800 and LPC4300 series are known.

NXP communicating cars

The LPC18Sxx and LPC43Sxx microcontroller families are well suited for any ‘connected’ application, particularly hubs or gateways, tasked with relaying and/or bridging large volumes of high-speed data. These functions are common in products such as smart meter communications hubs, factory, building, and home automation devices, streaming audio products, automotive aftermarket and many more.

“The tremendous growth in ‘connected things’ has begun and will accelerate exponentially in the coming years. With increased connectivity comes risk, and developers now need to understand and defend against threats to the code and data messages. The new LPC18S and LPC43S microcontroller families help embedded developers protect connected applications from these threats, whether they are used standalone, with security solutions from software partners, or paired with an NXP A-Series secure element.” – Ross Bannatyne, General Manager, Mass Market Product Line, Microcontroller Business Line, NXP Semiconductors

A spectrum of solutions for secure connectivity

Both LPC18Sxx and LPC43Sxx families integrate an AES-128 encryption engine for fast, secure bulk message transfers; two 128-bit non-volatile OTP memories for encrypted, hardware-randomized key storage to prevent cloning; a true random number generator for unique key creation; and boot ROM drivers supporting secure boot of authenticated encrypted firmware images. The MCUs in both families use high-performance Cortex-M cores (Cortex-M3/LPC18Sxx, LPC43Sxx/Cortex-M4 & M0) ensuring ample bandwidth for fast bulk data encryption or decryption without slowing down communications. They also include code read protection (CRP) to prevent unauthorized access to internal Flash.

The LPC43Sxx and LPC18Sxx microcontroller families anchor a spectrum of secure connectivity solutions from NXP. Both families are supported by software solutions from ecosystem partners for secure firmware updates, secure IoT connectivity, and secure networking stacks (SSL, TLS). In addition these new MCUs can be seamlessly paired with an NXP A-Series secure element for a turnkey solution to add tamper detection, secure authentication with hardware-accelerated PKI (RSA and ECC keys), secure certificate storage and more.

An LPC43S37-based development platform, available in Q2, will help designers implement a range of secure connectivity solutions for IoT, Industry 4.0, consumer and other applications. The platform combines the MCU, security software from ecosystem partners, an NXP A-Series secure element and supports connectivity features including Ethernet and WiFi.

Source: NXP Semiconductors

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