Anti-hacking, in-vehicle networks: industry’s first automotive security dev kit

14 August 2018

The CryptoAutomotive Security ICs TrustAnchor/Border Security Device development kit, from Microchip Technology

Microchip introduce the CryptoAutomotive In-Vehicle Network, which enables OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers to implement security in networked vehicle systems – with the strongest protection and no disruption.

The CryptoAutomotive In-Vehicle Network TrustAnchor/Border Security Device (TA/BSD) development kit, the only security-specific automotive tool in the industry, emulates a secure node in an automotive network and provides system designers with an intuitive starting point for implementing security. Designed to be flexible, the tool accommodates each OEM’s implementation by allowing manufacturers to configure the node to conform to various specifications and industry standards.

The tool demonstrates secure key storage, electronic control unit authentication, hardware-based crypto accelerators and other cryptographic elements. When used with a host microcontroller, it enables designers to implement functions, such as secure boot and controller area network message authentication, including conversion of CAN 2.0 messages to CAN Flexible Data rate – with appended message authentication codes when appropriate.

Microchip provides a comprehensive approach to automotive security. With the companion approach, the TA/BSD emulation kit enables OEMs to continue using their existing microcontrollers (MCUs) and, more importantly, existing MCU firmware certified to required safety standards, by later adding the companion chip that the kit emulates.

These companion chips will come to the customer preprogrammed and include built-in security measures to provide true hardware-based key protection. Such an add-on approach can deliver significant cost and time-to-market advantages: the alternative is to redesign the system with a high-end secure MCU, which can entail significant re-architecture of the MCU firmware (namely to implement secure zones with hardware and software domains).

The tool can be used with any electronic control unit, architecture, configuration or bus, and this provides the flexibility to implement security in existing systems without large-scale redesigns. The companion chip solution requires minimal MCU code updates, resulting in minimal, if any, impact to existing host MCU functional safety ratings. This approach also removes the requirement for in-house security expertise, and the tool also provides an online graphical user interface program, with pre-configured options, to simplify and facilitate implementation.

With great advances in AI, rapidly increasing levels of automation and autonomous vehicles on the horizon, securing automotive networks is a clear and urgent necessity that the industry is now widely acknowledging. With its flexible add-on approach, Microchip’s automotive development kit gives OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers the tools needed to immediately start implementing security measures into existing vehicle networks.

For more information on the CryptoAutomotive Security ICs TA/BSD development kit (DM320112), visit

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