In an effort to develop a global standard that eases smart home implementations, the Zigbee Alliance has created a working group “Connected Home over IP”, CHIP for short, that aims to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. As a world leading security provider, Infineon Technologies AG has helped to define security features in CHIP that are both easy to integrate for manufacturers and easy to use for consumers.
A CHIP device like a coffeemaker comes preloaded with CHIP software and credentials that prove its unique identity and certification status. Adding the device to the smart home home is easy. Just scan a QR code with the phone, press the pairing button on the device, the phone verifies the device’s initial credentials and set it up on the smart home network. The new coffeemaker is online and can be controlled with the phone, a smart speaker or other connected devices in the smart home.
“We are convinced that Project CHIP as an industry-wide standardization effort has the power to boost smart home device manufacturing and deployment”, said Steve Hanna, Senior Principal at Infineon and lead of several security teams within the CHIP Working Group. “Hardware security is second to none when it comes to protecting user’s privacy and data security. We have brought in all our expertise to securely and easily connect domestic life with the internet.”
In the face of the Corona pandemic, private homes have become the center of working, educating, entertaining and even healthcare. As a result, there is greater demand for a new range of applications and functions ranging from home security to energy-efficient lighting or air conditioning. Aspects such as easy and secure in-home control and device set-up are consequently becoming fundamental for consumers’ buying decisions.
With CHIP, consumers will experience a new degree of professionalism when adding a new device into their home networks. From design to end of life, a device’s identity can now be stored and updated in hardware-based security. Hardware-based security can eliminate the use of unsecure passwords, maintain device integrity through protected firmware updates and protect private data through state-of-the-art data encryption.
As part of the CHIP working group, Infineon has been a leader in all major security teams, including those covering topics such as cryptographic primitives for encryption, device attestation and integrity, and the requirements for security certification of smart home devices.
Comparable to the TPM standard which raised the bar for PC security, the CHIP standard aims to help smart home device manufacturers to significantly increase the level of security of their products while keeping costs controlled and avoiding needless complexity with easy-to-use hardware based security.
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