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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Renesas strengthens its IoT security and cloud connectivity

By Nick Flaherty

Renesas has added NetX Secure TLS security, MQTT connectivity and Wi-Fi/Cellular/Bluetooth Low Energy to the software for its latest ARM Cortex-M4 Synergy microcontrollers.
The Synergy platform consists of fully integrated software, development tools and a family of scalable microcontrollers with no upfront fees or back-end royalties – everything is included in the purchase price of the MCU device.

The Synergy Platform’s new release includes the Synergy Software Package (SSP) version 1.3.0, which integrates Express Logic’s NetX Secure Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT) for NetX Duo. 
SSP v1.3.0 also adds Wi-Fi, LTE cellular and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) wireless application frameworks that simplify adding or exchanging radio frequency (RF) modules in IoT devices. 
Low power management is enhanced by adding the Power Profile application framework to make it easy to use the Synergy MCUs’ complex low-power modes. The Synergy Platform also includes software and development tool support for three additional MCU groups – S5D5, S3A6, and S128. New low-cost S5D5 and S3A6 target board kits and S128 development kit further reduce development cost barriers.

SSP v1.3.0 integrates NetX Secure to safeguard connected IoT device communications over public networks and the Internet. Developers can easily deploy NetX Secure to authenticate the senders and receivers identity, and prevent eavesdropping and tampering with data sent across the network. NetX Secure uses the TLS protocol to achieve socket layer security while using the NetX Duo TCP/IP network stack. TLS provides security three ways: by establishing secret keys between the client and server, applying hashing algorithms to detect alteration or forgery of packet content, and remote host identity using digital certificates. The MQTT protocol enables lightweight machine-to-machine (M2M) communication across small IoT edge devices powered by MCUs. This combination of TLS and MQTT protocols ensures secure and efficient communication from edge to cloud.

“The functionality of the Synergy Platform continues to grow in value, serving embedded IoT developers with greater security, simple to integrate RF modules, and an ever-expanding full service software/hardware platform that accelerates time to market like never before,” said Peter Carbone, Vice President of Synergy IoT Platform Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “Each new SSP release enables our customers to innovate and differentiate, while tackling the most complex IoT applications.”

“With edge nodes and connected devices rapidly populating the IoT landscape, the need to put an end to security breaches of sensitive and confidential information has never been more critical,” said William E. Lamie, President, Express Logic, Inc. “We are thrilled to see Express Logic’s NetX Secure TLS and MQTT for NetX Duo inside Renesas’ Synergy Software. We believe that Synergy customers have the essential tools needed to quickly develop secure IoT device-to-cloud solutions.”

The wireless application frameworks in SSP v1.3.0 enable developers to easily add, or swap RF modules from various suppliers into their projects by providing a set of uniform APIs that abstract low-level hardware details. This makes it easy for Synergy Platform customers to evaluate popular RF modules and quickly adapt to changes in availability of specific RF modules with minimum impact to application code. SSP v1.3.0 also makes the Wi-Fi application framework native to the SSP and adds new frameworks for cellular and BLE connectivity to cover the three key wireless IoT protocols. Synergy Tools simplify selecting RF module functions, configurations, and connections to the ThreadX real-time-operating system (RTOS). 
The S5D5 Group, Renesas’ eighth group of Synergy MCUs, increases the Synergy Platform’s scalability with six new software-compatible MCUs. Each MCU has a large SRAM to flash memory ratio, and robust security features to address IoT applications. The S5D5 MCUs include a 120 MHz ARM Cortex-M4 CPU core, 512KB or 1MB on-chip flash memory, 384KB of SRAM, precision analogue acquisition functions, Ethernet interface, and high-speed USB. Specialized on-chip security features include the ability to generate and safely store private keys using symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, a true random number generator (TRNG), and special memory protection functions.

S5D5 Group MCUs Flash Memory SRAM Package
R7FS5D57A3A01CFP 512 KB 384 KB 100-pin LQFP
R7FS5D57A3A01CFB 512 KB 384 KB 144-pin LQFP
R7FS5D57A2A01CLK 512 KB 384 KB 145-pin LGA
R7FS5D57C3A01CFP 1 MB 384 KB 100-pin LQFP
R7FS5D57C3A01CFB 1 MB 384 KB 144-pin LQFP
R7FS5D57C2A01CLK 1 MB 384 KB 145-pin LGA
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