First module to combine OCF security and Thread eliminates IoT gateways

October 21, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
First module to combine OCF security and the Thread protocol eliminates IoT gateways
An IoT module from Cascoda eliminates the need for gateways by combining the OCF security and IPv6 Thread protocol for the first time

Cascoda in Southampton has developed the first module to combine the open source secure IP framework from the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) with the Thread IPv6 protocol

The low power IoT platform enables rapid building and deployment of securely connected IP-based ultra-low-power devices for smart building and smart city applications.

“This development is a milestone for OCF and for all IoT stakeholders wishing to take advantage of the highest levels of security on low power IP-based mesh networks. Until now, this hasn’t been possible,” said Mark Trayer, OCF Chair.

The certified platform from Cascoda is based on an open-source software development kit (SDK) and combines the OCF secure IP framework and application layer with a Thread IPv6 network layer protocol, Thread IP router; and OCF cloud connectivity.

“By combining the unique advantages of OCF and Thread’s low power wireless networking protocol into this now certified IoT platform, we have opened up the possibility for battery and energy-harvester powered devices to be uniquely addressable over the internet, while allowing them to benefit from the most advanced level of IoT security,” said Bruno Johnson, CEO of Cascoda and OCF Member. “As a result, we have eliminated the cost and complexity of the gateway. This opens up significant opportunities for those planning smart building and smart city infrastructure, where highly secure services can now be delivered through low power, IP-based mesh networks, covering large areas.”

The Chili2 module pairs the Cascoda CA-8211 transceiver modem with -105dBm receive sensitivity, +9 dBm transmit power and a +114 dB link budget with an ARM Cortex-M23 TrustZone microcontroller. The OCF framework includes a root of trust (RoT), cryptographic acceleration and hardware tamper protection and has been attested through the IASME IoT Security Assured scheme.

This is also a significant step towards the adoption of a secure, multi-standard IP-based infrastructure by IP-BLIS. This is a market interest group that brings together standards organizations including OCF, KNX, DALI, BACnet, Thread Group and the Connectivity Standards Alliance.

“Now, however, an opportunity has been unlocked for low power devices on mesh networks, and the services and applications they run, to leverage a chain of trust built on OCF’s public key infrastructure (PKI) to ensure secure end-to-end encryption over IP,” said Trayer.

“This unleashes lots of potential for organizations wishing to scale deployments without limitation, while maintaining simple and secure network control. For example, a network initially built as part of a smart city scheme to control street lighting can be scaled up securely over time to add in other real-time public services, such as air quality or traffic monitoring. Permission-based access can be granted to different stakeholders, ensuring they can only see data from their own applications. We’re excited by the possibilities presented by this platform and applaud Cascoda for leading the way with this development.”

Thread is backed by industry-leading companies including Amazon, Apple, Google/Nest, Lutron, Nordic Semiconductors, NXP Semiconductors, OSRAM, Qualcomm, Siemens, Silicon Labs, Somfy, and Yale Security.

www.cascoda.com

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