ARM summarises its campaign as “accelerating secure IoT from chip to cloud”. Enabling the IoT revolution, ARM says, needs efficiency – devices will need to be battery powered or run from energy harvesting – security, to protect data from sensor to cloud, and scale. The package of product and services includes:
- two specific Cortex-M processors based on the ARMv8-M architecture, to be known as M23 and M33, which come with ARM’s TrustZone technology;
- IP to build an IoT subsystem on custom SoC designs: the CoreLink SSE200, with ARM CoreLink system IP for, the company asserts, the fastest, lowest-risk path to silicon;
- secure SoC designs that embody ARM’s TrustZone CryptoCell technology;
- a wireless solution with ARM Cordio radio IP for IEEE802.15.4 (ZigBee and Thread) and Bluetooth 5. time of introduction, ARM has collaborated with foundry TSMC to offer an optimized implementation on ARM Artisan IoT POP IP, for TSMC’s 40ULP process. ARM says that 40 nm, while some way behind today’s leading edge, is likely to be the “sweet spot” process in which IoT chips are built.
ARM says that this release is its most comprehensive product suite ever, intended to deliver new levels of security, efficiency, low-power connectivity and device life cycle management, adding, “..the IoT already runs on ARM but the goal now is scale, which we are enabling today through a uniquely comprehensive set of technologies and services built to work together seamlessly.”
Bringing TrustZone to Cortex-M processors, and to resource-limited IoT nodes, the Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 are the first embedded processors based on the ARMv8-M architecture. The majority of the top ten global MCU suppliers have already licensed one or both processors. Lead partners include Analog Devices, Microchip, Nuvoton, NXP, Renesas, Silicon Labs and STMicroelectronics.
Cortex-M33 has configuration options including a coprocessor interface, DSP and floating point computation, with increased performance and efficiency relative to Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4. In 40 nm an M33 core is “very small” ARM says, at under 0.1 square mm. The M33 is a general-purpose processing unit, with its range of optional features.
The Cortex-M23 is even smaller, by a further 75%, and is 50% more power efficient, but includes security for the most constrained devices. Both cores are backwards compatible with ARMv6-M and ARMv7-M architectures for direct and fast porting.
The CoreLink SSE-200 IoT subsystem reduces time to market by months by integrating Cortex-M33, CryptoCell and Cordio radio along with software drivers, secure libraries, protocol stack and mbed OS. The combination of CryptoCell and TrustZone is presented as a complete security package.
ARM identifies management – at all scales, from device level to handling ‘big data’ – as a problem standing in the way of IoT growth. It has opted to address this by building on the mbed developetn environment base and is thereby expanding into software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud services for secure IoT device management. The mbed IoT Device Platform has been expanded to include mbed Cloud, that allows OEMs to:
- Simplify connection, provisioning, updating and securing of devices across complex networks
- Enable faster scaling, productivity and time to market, allowing developers to use any device on any cloud
- Enhance device-side capabilities with mbed OS 5.
The offering will be sold on a standard SaaS model, by pay-by use pricing.