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Robust security enabled by chip-level tamper resistance
Combines industry’s best-in-class low power consumption and water-tolerant, noise-immune capacitive touch

Robust security enabled by chip-level tamper resistance

Microchip announces the new SAM L10 and SAM L11 families of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) which address the growing need for security in Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints by protecting against the increasing the risk of exposing intellectual property (IP) and sensitive information.

The new MCU families are based on the Arm Cortex-M23 core, with the SAM L11 featuring Arm TrustZone for Armv8-M, a programmable environment that provides hardware isolation between certified libraries, IP and application code.



Microchip enables robust security by including chip-level tamper resistance, secure boot and secure key storage which, when combined with TrustZone technology, protects customer applications from both remote and physical attacks.

Both MCU families offer the industry’s lowest power consumption, as well as capacitive touch capability with best-in-class water tolerance and noise immunity.

When benchmarked for power consumption, the SAM L10 received a ULPMark score of 405, which is over 200% better performance than the nearest competitor certified by the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmark Consortium (EEMBC). Microchip uses proprietary picoPower technology to provide industry-leading low power consumption in active and all sleep modes.

In addition to TrustZone technology, the SAM L11 security features include an on-board cryptographic module supporting Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Galois Counter Mode (GCM) and Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA).

The secure boot and secure key storage with tamper detection capabilities establish a hardware root of trust. It also offers secure bootloader for secure firmware upgrades.

Microchip has partnered with Trustonic, a member of Microchip’s Security Design Partner Programme, to offer a comprehensive security solution framework that simplifies implementation of security and enables customers to introduce end products faster.

Microchip has also partnered with Secure Thingz and Data I/O Corporation to offer secure provisioning services for SAM L11 customers that have a proven security framework.

Both MCU families offer Microchip’s latest-generation Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC) for capacitive touch capabilities.

Designers can easily add touch interfaces that provide an impressively smooth and efficient user experience in the presence of moisture and noise while maintaining low power consumption.

The touch interface makes the devices ideal for a myriad of automotive, appliance, medical and consumer Human Machine Interface (HMI) applications.

Dual-core dsPIC digital signal controller enables
separate code design and seamless integration

Microchip also .announces a new Digital Signal Controller (DSC) with two dsPIC DSC cores in a single chip for high-end embedded control applications.

The dsPIC33CH has one core that is designed to function as a master while the other is designed as a slave.

The slave core is useful for executing dedicated, time-critical control code while the master core is busy running the user interface, system monitoring and communications functions, customised for the end application.

The dsPIC33CH is designed specifically to facilitate independent code development for each core by separate design teams and allows seamless integration when they are brought together in one chip

The dsPIC33CH is designed specifically to facilitate independent code development for each core by separate design teams and allows seamless integration when they are brought together in one chip.

The dsPIC33CH family is optimised for high-performance digital power, motor control and other applications requiring sophisticated algorithms.

This includes applications such as wireless power, server power supplies, drones and automotive sensors.

For example, in a digital power supply, the slave core manages the math-intensive algorithms, while the master core independently manages the PMBus protocol stack and provides system monitoring functions, increasing overall system performance and responsiveness. Distributing the overall workload across two DSC cores in a single device enables higher power density through higher switching frequencies, leading to smaller components.

The dsPIC33CH family was designed for live updating of the system, which is especially important for power supplies where firmware updates must be made with zero downtime.

In an automotive fan or pump, the slave core is dedicated to managing time-critical speed and torque control while the master manages the Controller Area Network Flexible Data rate (CAN-FD) communications, system monitoring and diagnostics.

The two cores work seamlessly together, enabling advanced algorithms to improve efficiency and responsiveness. In addition, each of the new cores in dsPIC33CH devices has been designed to provide more performance than current dsPIC DSC cores through: 1) more context-selected registers to improve interrupt responsiveness; 2) new instructions to accelerate Digital Signal Processor (DSP) performance; and 3) faster instruction execution.

The dsPIC33CH family delivers unprecedented integration in a small 5 x 5 mm package and includes features such as CAN-FD communications.

To reduce system costs and board size, advanced peripherals are available to each core including high-speed ADCs, DACs with waveform generation, analogue comparators, analogue programmable gain amplifiers and high-resolution Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) hardware.

Having two cores, with dedicated peripherals, allows the cores to be programmed to monitor each other for functional safety reasons, facilitating robust system design.

The dsPIC33CH is supported by Microchip’s MPLAB development ecosystem including Microchip’s free, downloadable and award-winning MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and MPLAB Code Configurator.

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