Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wisekey, Tatwah and OnSemi secure IoT beacon

Steve Rogerson
December 4, 2019



Swiss companies Wisekey and Tatwah worked with Arizona chip company On Semiconductor to develop what they claim is the world's first secure IoT beacon.
 
Cyber-security company Wisekey and Tatwah, a specialist in designing and manufacturing secure RFID tags and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, released the device at last month’s Trustech in France.
 
The beacon embeds the Bluetooth 5 RSL10 system-in-package (SiP) from On Semiconductor. The all-in-one product is certified to worldwide regulatory standards, and offers Bluetooth 5 features while maintaining what is said to be the industry’s lowest power in standby and active modes.
 
The RSL10 family is supported by a software development kit featuring an Eclipse-based IDE, mobile applications and support for Free RTOS, firmware over-the-air updates and mesh networking.
 
The beacon has two certified tamper-resistant microcontrollers – the Vault IC405 and IC407 from Wisekey – that allow the RSL10 SiP to store digital certificates securely. These certificates are used by the beacon to process the cryptographic algorithms required to build the security protocol, while protecting sensitive data and calculations against hackers.
 
The IC405 and IC407 microcontrollers provide a common criteria EAL5+ platform and FIPS 140-2 level 3 security mechanisms for product authentication, secure asset tracking and sensor data integrity. These features assist with a number of IoT applications including predictive maintenance, healthcare asset tracking and patient management, closed-loop trusted digital payment protocols, and other wearable applications.
 
At its heart is the Wisekey Oiste root of trust serving as a common trust anchor and recognised by operating systems and applications to ensure the authenticity, confidentiality and integrity of online transactions.
 
Wisekey’s PKI services allow it to issue trusted digital identities for people, machines and objects, adopting the best practices in secure identity management. It also leverages a plug-and-play environment where users’ ecosystems can connect securely and re-connect digital relations with ease.
 
“Security is a crucial aspect for a number of IoT beacon-based applications, including asset tracking, identification and micropayments,” said Bruno Damien, IoT strategic marketing director for EMEA at On Semiconductor. “We are pleased to see our RSL10 SiP used to develop the first secure Bluetooth Low Energy beacon. Long-lasting battery life and miniaturisation are important factors of technology adoption as they enable compact and easy-to-use devices with data analytics performed in the cloud.”
 
Carlos Moreno, Wisekey’s VP for corporate alliances, added: “We are proud to partner together with market leaders such as On Semiconductor and Tatwah combining cutting-edge technologies and expertise to support the markets requirements and aggregating this innovative secure IoT beacon to our portfolio.”
 
Tatwah is among the ten largest producers of RFID tags and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons. The company runs a horizontally integrated factory that provides everything under one roof, from wafer processing, antenna technology, bonding, laminating and assembly to test and certification. Tatwah’s 40,000 square-metre production facility, staffed with roughly 1000 employees, has a capacity of more than a million pieces a day. Other finished products, beyond tags, include made-to-order badges, key chains, wristbands and an assortment of novelty items embedded with RFID, NFC or BLE capabilities.
 
“With our innovative mindset, Tatwah is continuously investing in Bluetooth Low Energy beacon tags, enriching features, enforcing performances and providing state-of-the-art secured devices,” said Egon Konopitzky Tatwah’s senior executive vice president. “The partnership enables customers to implement new, truly and highly secure Bluetooth Low Energy technology for mature and emerging market segments.”