Partners provide secure firmware flash programming for Renesas Synergy

The Renesas Synergy platform enables a robust manufacturing supply chain for authentic firmware that protects IP and prevents cloning.

Renesas Electronics has announced a first step of a security lifecycle management solution on the Renesas Synergy Platform for customers who build devices connecting to the IoT.

Renesas has partnered with Data I/O and Secure Thingz for secure firmware flash programming that enables customers to reliably and securely program authorised firmware into the flash memory of Synergy microcontrollers in remote manufacturing facilities, and in the field. All the time, the firmware is protected from being modified, pirated, or installed on cloned hardware.

Connected IoT devices face risk of product disruption, system hijacking, eavesdropping, IP theft, and product cloning. They can be exploited to shut down or damage infrastructure, or cause injury. As well as security, extra diligence ensures that the integrity and authenticity of a product is maintained in the production environment and not compromised during the manufacturing cycle regardless of the location and security level and capabilities of the contract manufacturer or OEM. 

A chain-of-trust starts with the delivery of a Synergy microcontroller with hardware security features, to a secure programming centre where a root-of-trust is installed on each microcontroller, using equipment provided by Data I/O. Then, the OEM uses tools provided by Data I/O (SentriX Security Programming Platform) and Secure Thingz (Secure Deploy suite of tools) to author the firmware so that it is encrypted, signed, and provisioned to specific microcontrollers, before they are shipped to the OEM or contract manufacturing facility. Once in the field, the authored firmware can be securely updated into the microcontroller’s flash memory with the on-chip root-of-trust validating and decrypting the firmware before flash programming. The Synergy microcontrollers provide hardware protected memory segments, integrated with an asymmetric cryptographic engine to validate and decrypt the firmware. This structure eliminates concern for IP theft, piracy, and product cloning, says Renesas.

Renesas provides the Synergy microcontroller and Synergy’s security reference for a strong root-of-trust through a unique identity, hardware protected keys, a secure boot loader, a secure flash update module, and cryptographic application programming interfaces (APIs) that interface with the microcontroller hardware. 

Renesas will introduce Renesas Synergy’s security reference solution at Embedded World 2017 (Nuremberg, Germany, March 14 to 16) Hall 4 – 104.

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