PSoC6 MCUs Rev Up IoT Security With ARM Secure Firmware


Cypress is enabling secure IoT designs by implementing ARM’s Platform Security Architecture (PSA) Trusted Firmware-M reference example on its PSoC 6 microcontrollers (MCUs). This allows these MCUs to adhere to the highest level of protection as defined by PSA.

By this announcement, Cypress suggests that this upgrade allows IoT designers to quickly and easily implement secure designs with PSoC 6 MCUs by leveraging PSA’s holistic set of threat models, security analyses, hardware, and firmware architecture specifications, and Trusted Firmware-M reference implementation.

“As a direct result of the security features built into PSoC 6 MCUs and our collaboration with Arm, we have been able to quickly offer support for Trusted Firmware-M,” said Sudhir Gopalswamy, senior vice president of the Microcontrollers and Connectivity Division at Cypress. “We’re excited to offer designers a secure solution that is ultra-low power, flexible and adheres to PSA principles.”


According to Cypress, the PSoC 6 MCUs achieve the highest level of protection defined by the PSA using dual Arm Cortex-M cores combined with configurable memory and peripheral protection units.

The MCUs provide three levels of hardware-based isolation that together reduce the attack surface for threats:-

  1. an isolated execution environment for trusted applications using a dedicated Arm Cortex-M0+ core
  2. secure element functionality that hosts root of trust operations and system services
  3. isolation for each trusted application.

The system is augmented with a true random number generator (TRNG) and cryptographic accelerators, while the Cortex-M4 core in the PSoC 6 MCU architecture delivers a clean programming model for the rich execution environment for unsecure applications.

As per Cypress, aligned with Arm’s current version for v8-M, the Trusted Firmware-M reference example for PSoC 6 MCUs allows designers to:

  1. easily implement hardware-based isolation between secure and unsecure execution environments via configuration of the protection units
  2. utilize Mbed OS secure services.
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Future versions will include trusted boot with multiple images and full PSA API support, including Root of Trust installation with secure element functionality.

The PSoC 6 MCU Trusted Firmware-M will be available in March 2018.

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