Low-power MCUs see off security threats

14th August 2018
Mick Elliott

Availability of the Microchip SAM L10 and SAM L11 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kits and associated MCUs has been announced by distributor Farnell element14. The devices are the industry’s lowest-power 32-bit MCUs as well as the first to offer chip-level security and Arm TrustZone Technology.

The SAM L10’s low power allows users to develop secured applications without the battery constraints of less power-efficient MCUs. This low power consumption makes it suitable for a range of IoT applications in areas such as wearable devices, gaming controls, energy harvesting, smart pens and low-power industrial sensor nodes.

The SAM L11 additionally features integrated hardware security which allows users to take advantage of the increased security needed by applications such as IoT nodes, remote keypads and authentication systems for smart cities and home automation; industrial automation or medical devices.

The MCUs run at 32MHz with memory configuration of up to 64KB Flash and 16KB SRAM. They incorporate an enhanced Peripheral Touch Controller and advanced analogue features. Both devices are available in 24- and 32-pin package options.

With an EEMBC certified ULPMark of 405, the SAM L10 and SAM L11 are built with picoPower technology and provide flexible power saving modes.

They are supported with power debugging and data visualiser tools to monitor and analyse power consumption in real time, helping developers to rapidly optimise their system designs for lower power consumption with significant improvements in battery life.

Designer of appliances, fitness trackers, automotive door handles, key pads or remote controls will benefit from the enhanced Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC), which provides best-in-class water tolerance and high noise immunity.

Superior capacitive touch interfaces become easy to incorporate in users’ applications.

The interface is four times faster than previous generations of PTCs and provides highly-responsive and accurate touch sensing.

It is supported by the QTouch Configurator and QTouch Modular Library, which make it simple to add elegant touch interfaces to designers’ applications.

The chip-level security incorporated into SAM L11 MCUs is based on ARM TrustZone technology to help protect against both physical and remote attacks plus a comprehensive security solution framework to simplify the implementation of security.

IoT nodes driven by a SAM L11 provide strong resistance to remote software attacks, thereby increasing the reliability and avoiding any downtime of the critical functions of the nodes. The chip-level tamper resistance will help protect from cloning and intellectual property theft.

Both MCUs are available as development kits: the SAM L10 and SAM L11 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kits.

These are fully supported with security, low-power and touch demos to accelerate development and help customers get their designs to market faster.

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