Secure Cortex-M4F MCU integrates contactless interface and XiP Quad SPI

Secure Cortex-M4F MCU integrates contactless interface and XiP Quad SPI

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By eeNews Europe

The SoC is based around a low-power, ARM Cortex-M4 (with floating point unit) and is equipped with Maxim’s DeepCover embedded security solutions to cloak sensitive data under multiple layers of advanced physical security to provide the most secure software protection possible.


The ARM Cortex-M4 with FPU core supports a 96 MHz system clock. Multiple power operating modes and dynamic clock gating minimize power consumption while maintaining high-performance on demand. Up to 128 MB of external, encryptable flash memory is supported on a high-speed SPI bus, allowing for XiP (execute-in-place) operation. Portions of the internal 128 kB SRAM are encryptable and can be battery-backed for secure and reliable storage.


Multiple security features create a secure cryptographic boundary that protects program code and data. Environmental, microprobe, and user-configurable external dynamic tamper sensors can trigger a system-level tamper response, erasing secret keys and rendering internal and external memory unreadable. A secure keyboard controller provides a user interface while protecting against unauthorized access. High-speed cryptographic accelerators and a random number generator support highly secure communications.


Multiple SPI, I2S, I2C, UART and ISO-7816 UART serial interfaces are provided, as well as a USB controller/transceiver. Four general-purpose timers support PWM output. An integrated four-channel, 9-bit 4 Msample.sec SAR ADC measures battery voltages and other external signals.


At the time of posting, Maxim requires an NDA (non-disclosure-agreement) for full access to the data sheet, see;


next page; feature summary…

Features include;



External 24MHz Crystal Supports 96MHz System Clock

High-Speed Execute-in-Place SPI (SPIX) Interfaces with Up to 128 MB External Flash

128 kB of System SRAM

Scalable Battery Backup of 0/32/64/96/128 kB

Scalable Encryption of 0/32/64/96/128 kB

Multiple 32-Bit Words of One-Time Programmable (OTP) Memory

Single 3.0V/3.3V Supply Operation with Internal LDO

Multimode, Multistandard RF Radio;

ISO 14443 Type A/B and EMV Compliant Contactless Interface with Internal Transceiver

Security Features;

Public-Key Based Secure Boot Loader

Real-Time AES Decryption and Authentication for External Code Memory

AES, DES, 3DES, and SHA Hardware Accelerators

Modulo Arithmetic Hardware Accelerator (MAA) Supporting RSA, DSA, and ECC

10-Line Secure Keypad Controller

Hardware True Random Number Generator

Up to Six External Dynamic Tamper Sensor Pairs with Independent Random Dynamic Patterns

Fast Erase of Battery-Backed AES Keys

Environmental and Microprobe Tamper Sensors

Battery-Backed Real-Time Clock


Two ISO 7816 UARTs

Three UARTs

Two SPI/I2S Ports

One I2C Controller

USB 2.0 Full-Speed Device with Internal Transceiver

Four 32-Bit Timers with PWM Capability

Watchdog Timer and One Wakeup Timer

Four-Input, 9-Bit SAR ADC Operating at 4MS/s

Up to 59 General-Purpose I/O Pins


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