On-chip security for automotive market

March 07, 2011 // By Phil Ling
A range of microcontrollers with integrated cryptography services engine (CSE) from Freescale are aimed at lowering the security risk for data streamed through body electronics. The MPC564xB/C are the company's first devices to offer hardware-based CSE, previously implemented in software.

Cryptography is used in body control modules to inhibit data tampering, as Freescale’s Director of Automotive MCU Business, Ray Cornyn, stated: “The security of a car’s electronic systems is critical to the operation of the vehicle and the safety of its occupants.”

Built for the next generation of central vehicle body control, high-end gateways and smart junction boxes, the MPC564xB/C devices offer up to 300 DMIPS of performance. The MPC564xB/C implements a CSE that supports the secure hardware extension (SHE) specification published in 2009 by the Hersteller Initiative Software consortium of European car makers.

Many BCM applications support security through encryption capabilities in software. However, Freescale believes this is a riskier security method than a hardware solution, and the software can potentially be vulnerable to attacks. The CSE included in the Freescale devices moves control of the cryptographic keys from the software to the hardware domain to significantly reduce security risks. The CSE module helps protect the security keys from hackers, provides an authentic software environment and allows for distributed key ownership.