STMicroelectronics offers secure microcontroller solutions for IoT

Electronics Media had an interview with Deepak Agarwal, Senior Marketing & Application Manager, Secure Microcontrollers, Asean, ANZ & India of STMicroelectronics. ST is a technology leader in Smartcard with cutting-edge solutions for a broad range of applications in Banking, IT Security, Telecom, Transport and Wearable.

Mr. Deepak Agarwal has shared his insights on Smart Card technology and latest ST’s Secure MCUs . EXCERPTS

Question: Tell us about the ST’s Smartcard technology and throw some light on different phases of it?

Response:  The smart card based technology is already serving a wide variety of applications & are expected to support more as they become smaller, powerful & cheaper. The trend of the security in the market is showing 3 main steps:

The first phase was driven with the introduction of the smartcard at around 1995 mainly based on plastic card and micro module package technology covering applications such as Telephony cards (T2G), ePurses, banking, ID, SIM, Transportation & pay TV.

  • The second phase is showing 3 majors deployments:

The growing demand for strong security in consumer goods such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for enterprise & Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for computers as well as brand protection to avoid counterfeit peripherals.

The use of mobile phones & wireless technology that further drive the introduction of embedded secure elements, eSIM, M2M & NFC enabled devices

  •  The third phase is directly linked to the connected world with Internet of Things & Smart driving. They further drive the need of secure element not only to communicate securely but also to authenticate the devices in a network. Data issued from objects involved in smart grids, smart cities, smart homes, smart industry, connected cars must be trusted & more & more connected devices are now adopting solutions based on secure elements.

QWhat are the distinctive features of ST’s secure products?

Deepak Agarwal

R: We offer to our customers  a complete solution ranging from a secure operating system embedded in the secure MCU, to full enablement and personalization services, ST offers seamless integration of security features to customers who might not be experts in secure systems.

We are continuously investing in advanced technology R&D and is proud to control both R&D and production in-house. The latest ST’s Secure MCUs are based upon 40nm Flash technology, allowing to deliver advanced feature products at optimized cost to its customers.

Also, our boosted NFC technology opens new ways to pay with an infinite number of everyday-life form factors including wristbands and watches. Combining a secure MCU with a boosted NFC IC, the ST53 family offers an unique solution that makes contactless payment transactions faster and more robust, while using tiny antennas that are easy to integrate with any wearable form factor. The boosted NFC technology is also available in the STPay product range under the STPay-I-Boost reference.

Q:Highlight ST products showcased at SmartCards Expo 2017

R: ST demonstrated its latest innovative products and technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) at the 19th edition of SmartCards Expo 2017 in New Delhi, India.

mRobot Secure Platform

We showcased the widest array of technologies and solutions in payment technology and secure solutions dedicated to the banking and identification markets, secure transactions and wearable products for the Internet of Things, as well as for smarter homes and cities.

Our star product was the mRobot Secure Platform, which is a complete system integration to manage platform integrity and to assure secure application update. The demo, a robot driven by an STM32L4 microcontroller embedding ProvenCore-M software associated with the STSAFE-A100 secure element, demonstrates how to build a protected platform. The solution is capable of performing secure boot and secure application upgrade thanks to the root-of-trust STM32 /STSAFE-A100/ProvenCore-M package.