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Friday, May 19, 2017

Microchip launches WiFi development tool for Apple HomeKit with hardware encryption

By Nick Flaherty

Microchip has launched a fully-certified secure Wi-Fi Software Development Kit (SDK) for Apple's HomeKit support. 
The SDK enables MFi licensees to create fast, low-power designs on the industry’s first hardware cryptography-enabled Wi-Fi-based development kit for HomeKit.
The SDK combines hardware cryptography suites within the CEC1702, a full-featured ARM Cortex-M4-based microcontroller (MCU), with the WINC1510 low-power 802.11 b/g/n certified Wi-Fi module. 
The hardware-based security engines within the Wi-Fi HomeKit solution greatly reduce system calculation times. The reduction in execution time for HomeKit commands such as pairing – with pair setup in 0.95 seconds and pair verify in less than one tenth of a second – means the reaction time of the system is increased for applications such as instantly unlocking a front door. 
This reduced time of system activity enabled by the Wi-Fi SDK results in lower system power consumption that are comparable to Bluetooth, says Microchip. 
The Wi-Fi SDK also provides hardware security features due to its cryptography-enabled microcontroller. The CEC1702, a low-power but powerful, programmable 32-bit MCU offers security measures such as secure boot which allows equipment manufacturers to establish a hardware-based root of trust to protect against a security breach. 
Developers can also use integrated security features such as easy-to-use encryption, authentication, private and public key capabilities and customer programming flexibility to minimise application risk. The CEC1702 includes 480 KB SRAM code plus data, which gives developers ample code space for the HomeKit protocol as well as their application-specific code.
A new $99 SecureIoT1702 development board includes the CEC1702 MCU, a compact, high-contrast, serial graphic LCD display module, push buttons and two expansion headers compatible with the MikroElektronika mikroBUS Expansion interface. When paired with a WINC1510 Wi-Fi click board and a separately available MFi chip, the SecureIoT1702 board and Wi-Fi SDK provide MFi licensees the basic building blocks to create HomeKit applications.
The CEC1702Q-B1-SX MCU and ATWINC1510 Wi-Fi module are available now for production volume
The Wi-Fi SDK is available to MFI licensees only via for verification of the MFI license.

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