Home automation gets dedicated cryptographic code and core

May 25, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Oberon microsystems and Cortus have joined their forces to secure home automation, porting and optimizing Oberon’s cryptographic code to the Cortus APS3RP 32-bit IP core. The combination of the tiny software memory footprint and minimalist processor core is well suited to secure ASICs in battery-powered home automation devices.

Oberon microsystems has developed, analysed and optimised the cryptographic code of OberonHAP since 2013. The company has developed and formally proved novel algorithm combinations, and has carefully written critical parts in assembly language for high performance. The resulting software is typically three times as fast as a good implementation in C, enabling secure home automation even on low-power, low-cost 32-bit microcontroller cores for ASICs.

For pairing, authentication and encryption, OberonHAP implements Secure Remote Password (SRP), Ed25519, Curve25519, HKDF-SHA-512 and ChaCha20-Poly1305.

For an integrated circuit with the processor core running at 50 MHz, the cryptographic processing of the SRP algorithm – which is required once in the lifetime of a home automation device – takes less than five seconds. Cryptographic processing during opening of a session between a device and a smartphone takes less than 100 milliseconds. RAM requirements were brought down to a record-low 2.5 KB. The APS3RP is an enhanced performance version of the widely-deployed APS3R and provides a single cycle parallel multiplier. It has a Harvard architecture and a 3-stage pipeline. The Cortus family of APS processors offers a wide choice of computational performance and system complexity for embedded SoCs. All cores interface to Cortus’ peripherals including Ethernet 10/100 MAC, USB 2.0 Device and USB 2.0 OTG. They also share the simple vectored interrupt structure which ensures rapid, real time interrupt response, with low software overhead.

The APS toolchain and IDE (for C and C++) is available to licensees free of charge, and can be customised and branded for final customer use.

Visit Cortus S.A.S. at www.cortus.com

Visit Oberon microsystems at http://oberonhap.com