Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maxim builds security into IoT devices

Steve Rogerson
August 7, 2018

Manufacturers of security-sensitive industrial, consumer, computing and IoT devices can have a fast, efficient way to build in secure cryptographic operations, integrate key storage and enable active tamper detection with a component from Maxim Integrated.
As the latest member of the Californian firm’s DeepCover family of secure microcontrollers, the Max 32558 has these robust security features while enabling designers to save up to half of PCB space.
As electronic products become smaller and increasingly connected, there is a growing threat to sensitive information and privacy, requiring manufacturers to keep security top of mind when designing their devices. While designers should prevent security breaches at the device level, they often struggle with the trade-off of enhanced security with reduced board space, as well as with design complexity and meeting time to market goals.
The Arm Cortex-M3 flash-based secure microcontroller solves these problems by delivering strong security in a small footprint while simplifying design integration and speeding time to market. It integrates several security features into a small package, including secure key storage, secure bootloader, active tamper detection and secure cryptographic engines.
It also supports multiple communications channels such as USB, serial peripheral interface (SPI), universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter (uart) and I2C, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
Maxim’s experience in payment terminal certifications as well as its established support and technology can help streamline the certification process for its customers, reducing the process up to six months’ time rather than the typical 12 to 18 months.
The device helps shield sensitive data by providing secure key storage. It complies with Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 L3 and L4 certification.
Compared with a secure authenticator, it provides thirty times more GPIO in the same PCB footprint (4.34 by 4.34mm) wafer-level package. Embedded security features address point-of-sale PCI pin transaction security  requirements. There are 512kbyte of internal flash and 96kbyte of internal SRAM.
The complete software framework includes real-time operating system integration and code examples in evaluation kit. Code can be ported from one device to another as it shares the same API software library as the rest of the product family. There is a pre-certified Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV)-L1 stack for smartcard interface. And it includes documentation and code for managing the device lifecycle, such as secure firmware signing and device personalisation
“Maxim continues to bring together the functions and interfaces required to build new generations of devices which incorporate advanced features that consumers can trust with their personal data,” said Gregory Guez, executive director at Maxim Integrated. "We have significantly shrunk the size of the Max 32558 microcontroller without compromising on our exceptional security features, saving valuable board real estate. Additionally, our deep security expertise speeds consumers’ time to market up to six months."