RX65N general purpose microcontroller gains cryptographic certification

Believed to be the first general-purpose microcontroller to achieve Cryptographic Module Validation Program Level 3 certification under the FIPS 140-2 security standard by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Renesas says that its 32-bit RX65N microcontroller allows designers to develop devices which meet security requirements.

The FIPS 140 standard is a security requirement for applications used by government agencies, financial institutions, public facilities, and infrastructure, and it is becoming a de facto standard for security worldwide. Level 3 is a high-security level with tamper detection/response and identity-based authentication mechanisms for devices used to handle financial information such as hardware security modules (HSMs) and smart cards. Using the certified RX65N microcontroller will make it easier for customers to develop devices with robust, trustworthy security functions, which will contribute to a reduction in the development workload and reduced overall security risks from malicious attacks, such as data leaks, data tampering and spoofing. Sakae Ito, vice president of Renesas’ IoT platform business division, believe this threat will grow as more IoT devices gain network connectivity. “The CMVP Level 3 certification of an RX MCU means that customers can build robust security into their products without the need for a dedicated security chip, and I am delighted that this will help speed up the development of secure IoT devices,” Ito said.

The 32-bit RX65N is a general-purpose microcontroller with security, connectivity, and human-machine interface (HMI) functions designed for use in industrial and IoT devices. The RX65N incorporates the Trusted Secure IP (TSIP) module, which was already CAVP-certified. This comprises an encryption engine with AES, SHA, RSA, and ECC support, a true random number generator (TRNG), and an encrypted key management mechanism to implement robust security functions. The RX65N has dual-bank flash memory that supports background operation and SWAP function to enable secure and highly reliable firmware updates in system control or network devices and to prevent program tampering.

Renesas adds that because the RX65N is CMVP Level 3-certified, other RX family microcontrollers with the same TSIP (the RX651, RX66N, RX72N, and RX72M) can implement the security functionality equivalent.

Renesas also offers a ‘Secure Cloud & Sensor Solution’ that combines the RX65N with the company’s sensors to allow users to upload sensor data to cloud services securely and easily.


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