Maxim Provides First and Only Automotive-Grade Secure Authenticator to Enhance Vehicle Safety


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Designers can now enhance safety, security and data integrity for connected vehicle systems while also reducing both complexity and code development time with the DS28C40 DeepCover® automotive secure authenticator from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM). As the industry’s first and only AEC-Q100 Grade 1 solution for automotive systems, this authenticator IC reduces the design complexity and software vulnerability of current approaches to ensure only genuine components are used for many electronic systems, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

As cars become more sophisticated with the features they offer, safety and security risks grow as well. Automotive manufacturers use authentication to ensure only OEM-certified components are safely connected to vehicle systems, as well as reduce the growing threat of malware attacks. However, full-blown secure microcontrollers usually have a relatively big footprint and require software development teams to create, rigorously test and debug their code. The bigger the code base is, the higher the risk of bugs or malware adversely affecting performance.

The DS28C40 DeepCover authenticator is the only authenticator that meets the AEC-Q100 standard with Grade 1 performance. It replaces microcontroller-based approaches and reduces both system design complexity and associated code development efforts. The authenticator deters theft of high-value components such as front-light modules. It also offers public/private key asymmetric ECDSA (ECC-P256 curve) and other key authentication algorithms built into the IC, allowing OEMs to skip development of proprietary device-level code. This and other algorithms in the authenticator IC provide the strongest defense against unauthorized components that could compromise performance, safety and data integrity. The DS28C40 comes in a compact, 4mm-x-3mm TDFN package and operates over the -40-degree to +125-degree Celsius temperature range.

Key Advantages

  • Robust Security: Built-in symmetric key secure hash algorithm (SHA-256) support; secure storage of ECDSA and SHA-256 keys; one-time programmable nonvolatile memory for storage of digital certificates and manufacturing data; hardware-based security stronger than software approach.
  • Simple Integration: Device-level development code efforts eliminated with authentication algorithms built into IC; industry-standard I2C interface and low software overhead on host side simplifies design integration.

 Commentary

 

  • “As electronic content increases in automotive platforms, so does the threat of substandard aftermarket components that could compromise vehicle safety and performance,” said Tanner Johnson, senior IoT and connectivity analyst at IHS Markit, now a part of Informa Tech. “Leading manufacturers are appropriately concerned about these threats, and any standards-based security technology that promises to thwart the use of uncertified components and makes the process more cost effective will draw strong interest from designers.”
  • “Automotive OEMS and Tier-1s are faced with time and resource constraints when it comes to implementing security for advanced electronic systems,” said Michael Haight, director, Embedded Security at Maxim Integrated. “Our latest small-footprint authenticator ICs help them add the most advanced crypto-security available without adding new development teams to write and debug the code that is typically required for microcontroller and software-dependent approaches.”

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