Functional safety and cybersecurity meet on 32-bit MCU

Functional safety and cybersecurity meet on 32-bit MCU

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

For applications with both safety and cybersecurity requirements in vehicles, Microchip Technology has developed a microcontroller based on the Arm Cortex M0+ architecture that meets both functional safety and cybersecurity standards. The PIC32CM JH thus offers functions that can otherwise only be realized with more expensive, more powerful devices.

The PIC32CM JH meets the requirements of both the functional safety standard ISO 26262 and the cybersecurity standard is ISO/SAE 21434. In addition, the PIC32CM JH is compatible with Autosar, an open software architecture that allows suppliers to move to lower level hardware but retain the original application code. This eases the transition between different designs. Autosar-ready streamlines the development process and lowers overall costs. When using Autosar, Microchip provides ASIL-B microcontroller abstraction layers (MCALs) for functional safety that provide the lower-level hardware interface to the MCU.

Automotive OEMs require functional safety and cybersecurity for many in-vehicle applications, including touch buttons/wheels, door and console controls, and body applications such as ADAS. The PIC32CM JH, along with one of Microchip’s Trust Anchor TA100 CryptoAutomotive security ICs, is compliant with ISO/SAE 21434, the new cybersecurity standard for the automotive industry. The TA100 uses a highly secure hardware-based cryptographic keystore and cryptographic countermeasures to eliminate potential backdoors associated with software weaknesses.

The chip enables a secure boot process. It does this by authenticating program code at the hardware level to ensure that malicious code is not loaded onto the MCU. Other hardware features of the PIC32CM JH MCU include ECC (Error Correction Code) with error injection, loopbacks on the communication interfaces, System Memory Protection Unit and MBIST – all safety mechanisms to comply with ISO 26262 and IEC 60730 standards.

MBIST is the common method for testing embedded memory and can quickly test the integrity of SRAM to ensure it is functioning properly before program code is executed.

To assist developers with implementation, the PIC32CM JH is provided with functional safety, including safety manual, FMEDA (Failure Modes Effects and Diagnostic Analysis) and diagnostic code targeting ISO 26262 ASIL B (Automotive Safety Integrity Level).

In addition, the PIC32CM JH features an advanced touch function with Driven Shield Plus, which enables fault- and water-tolerant operation. This feature is required applications where the touch function must operate in a variety of harsh environments.

The PIC32CM JH MCU is supported by the PIC32CM JH01 Curiosity Pro Development Kit.

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