Development platform helps tighten IoT security
Sequana is a hardware and software platform from Future Electronics for the rapid development of secure, connected and IoT devices. The platform includes a main controller board and a sensor daughterboard for measurement of indoor pollutants, humidity, and visible and infrared light.
Created by Future Electronics’ Centre of Excellence for embedded engineering in Gdansk, Poland in collaboration with Cypress Semiconductor and Arm, Sequana is said to be the world’s first development platform to feature a Cypress PSoC 6 microcontroller running the Arm Mbed operating system for IoT devices.
The dual-core architecture of the PSoC 6 makes it ideal for IoT devices, including wireless sensor hubs and other smart connected applications.
This architecture supports power-optimised partitioning between the PSoC 63’s ultra-low power Arm Cortex-M0+ core and its high-performance Cortex-M4 core.
The Mbed software is an open-source real-time OS for IoT devices, and includes drivers and security, storage and networking functions.
At the heart of the Sequana main board is a PSoC 63 MCU module, which includes an on-chip Bluetooth 5.0 radio. The module includes an antenna and RF peripherals, and is supplied with FCC, CE and Bluetooth certificates.
In response to rising demand from embedded system developers for strong security in new generations of smart home, smart office and smart factory equipment, the Sequana board provides tight integration between the security features of the PSoC 63 and of the Mbed OS. The PSoC 63 offers the ability for customers to use three levels of hardware-based isolation to construct their secure application.
It offers integrated secure element functionality, including hardware-accelerated cryptographic functions such as AES, 3DES, RSA, ECC and SHA.
In Sequana, reference examples of these capabilities are provided by the Mbed OS’s support for partition management, cryptography and Transport Layer Security (TLS) for authentication and confidentiality.
Application development on the Sequana platform is facilitated by the board’s array of sensors, interfaces and headers. The main board is supplied with a choice of ROHM Semiconductor MEMS motion sensors to support the development of machine condition monitoring and predictive maintenance applications.
It also includes Arduino and mikroBUS headers for easy integration of function-specific boards.
The Sequana platform may also be supplied to customers with an optional Sequana Environmental plug-in board, which features an array of sensors from ams, IDT, Murata, Sensirion and STMicroelectronics.
These sensors detect and measure airborne pollutants (volatile organic compounds or VOCs, carbon dioxide and particulate matter), as well as acoustic noise and humidity. The board also includes a visible light sensor to measure the color and intensity of ambient light, and an infrared light sensor for presence detection.
Etienne Lanoy, Director of the Future Electronics Centres of Excellence, said: ‘Security and connectivity are the two big drivers of embedded system development today. The Future Electronics Centres of Excellence developed the Sequana boards to give customers a ready-made platform for rapid development of IoT applications, with security and Bluetooth features already built in and ready to run.
‘By providing a ready-made implementation of the Mbed OS, Sequana allows customers to rapidly build in the additional features that their applications require, including additional connectivity options such as LoRaWAN or cellular networking. Future Electronics can also provide design expertise and technical support to help design engineers to develop in the Mbed software environment.’
Jim Davis, Marketing Director for PSoC MCUs at Cypress, said: ‘IoT developers are leveraging the ultra-low power and built-in security features of our PSoC 6 MCUs to create innovative products with longer battery life while protecting sensitive user data. Future Electronics’ new Sequana board enables developers to get PSoC 6-based products to market quickly with our pre-certified Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 module and Mbed OS support.’
Andy Powers, Senior Product Manager for Mbed OS, Arm, said: ‘Security and connectivity are two of the fundamental building blocks of Mbed OS. The Future Electronics Sequana platform gives Mbed developers a market-leading development platform to showcase Mbed's Secure Partition Management feature using the Cypress PSoC 6 MCU. Incorporating a secure partition management feature such as this is a key component of Arm's Platform Security Architecture (PSA).’
The Sequana and Sequana Environmental platforms are available now free of charge to qualified customers of Future Electronics.