As part of the product roll out at its Technology Forum, Freescale has unveiled the Kinetis K8x MCU family, said to deliver the highest levels of integrated security available on an ARM Cortex-M class platform.
"Broad market MCUs are the critical enablers of innovative new end node applications and, for the IoT to evolve, these MCUs must enable highly securable product designs," said Steve Tateosian, director of microcontroller platforms.
According to Freescale, creating a secure embedded application has previously required up to three ICs – the main processor, a security coprocessor to perform cryptographic functions and, in some cases, an IC for physical tamper protection. Devices in the K8x family are said to perform all of these functions and to support execute in place operation.
Three variants of the K8x family will be available, all designed around a Cortex-M4 core running at 150MHz. The K80 variant is said to be an advanced security MCU. The K81 adds anti tamper features, while the K82 comes with a cryptographic coprocessor. Each part will have 256kbyte of SRAM, while devices will be available with up to 256kbyte of flash.
Depending on the device selected, features will include: hardware asymmetric cryptography, to improve cryptographic throughput; on the fly decryption, allowing the use of external serial NOR flash; and embedded tamper resistance against physical and passive attacks.
Target markets for the devices include point of sale equipment, smart energy gateways, home automation and building controls, portable healthcare devices and wearables.