Electronic Products & Technology

MCUs counter security threat of reprogramming devices in embedded systems

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Semiconductors Cybersecurity MCU security semiconductor

MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY PIC18-Q24 Family of Microcontrollers (MCUs) counters the threat of maliciously reprogramming a device in an embedded system, by introducing the Programming and Debugging Interface Disable (PDID) feature. When enabled, this enhanced code protection feature is designed to lock out access to the programming/debugging interface and block unauthorized attempts to read, modify or erase firmware. MCUs provide advanced security in the forefront, to help customers combat threats at the system’s foundation. Because many secure systems often connect and communicate with a wide variety of sensors, memory chips and processors, MCUs feature Multi-Voltage I/O (MVIO), which eliminates the need for external level shifters and allows the MCUs to interface with digital inputs or outputs at different operating voltages. In addition to reducing board complexity and Bill of Material (BOM) cost, MVIO makes the device suitable as system management processors, performing monitoring and telemetry for a larger processor. These routine tasks are typically most vulnerable to potential hackers as they try to gain access to embedded systems. Product family is also enabled with the option to have an immutable bootloader for applications that want a secure way to upgrade firmware.

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