Implementing secure authentication without being a cryptography expert: Page 4 of 4

November 30, 2016 //By Christophe Tremlet
Implementing secure authentication without being a cryptography expert
Today, digital security is one of the most hyped topics in electronic design. For many engineers, encryption is probably the first word that comes to mind when they think about security. Probably only a few think initially about authentication.

Maxim’s DS28E15/22/25 ICs are based on the SHA-256 technology and differ by their internal memory size. Since the same secret is stored on both the host and device sides, we recommend using a co-processor such as the DS2465 on the host side.

Asymmetric cryptography-based products such as DS28C36 and DS28E35 offer a more flexible scheme as the key does not need to be protected against disclosure on the host side. However, to offload public-key math and provide additional secure operations, host-side co-processors such as the DS2476 (companion IC to the DS28C36) are available to simplify development of the system solution.


Secure MCUs with support for symmetric and asymmetric cryptography

Maxim offers secure microcontrollers ranging from the MAX32590 (ARM9 running at 384MHz) application-class processor that can run advanced operating systems such as Linux down to small-footprint co-processors such as MAX32555 or MAXQ1061.

Designed to meet Common Criteria EAL4+
requirements, Maxim’s cryptographic controller
MAXQ1061 integrates a comprehensive cryptographic
toolbox that provides full support for a wide spectrum
of security needs, ranging from key generation
and storage, to digital signature and encryption

These microcontrollers support both symmetric and asymmetric cryptography for digital signature and authentication as well as encryption algorithms. They feature hardware accelerators for SHA, RSA, ECDSA, and AES as well as a full cryptography library providing a turnkey API aligned to standards. They have built-in secure boot, so that firmware authenticity is always guaranteed. Thanks to their comprehensive set of crypto functions, they can handle multiple authentication schemes.


Low-power microcontrollers such as MAX32626 target wearable devices, so are not “security-centric” ICs. With attacks becoming more and more frequent, however, this product has been designed with the security challenges of tomorrow in mind. Hence, MAX32626 has a hardware Trust Protection Unit supporting authentication as well as hardware AES for encryption and a built-in secure boot.


About the author:

Christophe Tremlet is Executive Business Manager, Micros & Security at Maxim Integrated -

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