NuMicro M2351 TrustZone Enabled ARM Cortex M23 MCU is Designed for Fingerprint Applications

ARM Cortex-M23 & M33 ARMv8-M cores were unveiled at ARM Techcon 2016 last October. They are the first MCU class cores to support TrustZone technology for better security, and one of the first micro-controllers to feature the technology is Nuvoton’s NuMicro M2351 Cortex M23 MCU designed for fingerprint applications.

NuMicro M2351 MCU specifications

  • Processor Core – ARM Cortex-M23 ARMv8-M core @ up to 48 MHz
  • Memory – 96 KB embedded SRAM
  • Storage – Up to 512 KB embedded flash with dual bank mode supporting OTA firmware update, 32 KB Secure Boot ROM
  • Display IF – 8 COM x 40 SEG controller with internal charge pump for segment LCD panel
  • Peripherals – UART, SPI, I²C, GPIOs, USB and ISO 7816-3 for smart card reader.
  • Security features
    • TrustZone Technology
    • 8 Memory Protection Units (MPU)
    • 8 Security Attribution Units (SAU)
    • Implementation Defined Attribution Unit (IDAU)
    • 2 KB OTP ROM with additional 1KB lock bits
    • Hardware Crypto Accelerators
    • CRC calculation unit
    • Up to 6 tamper detection pins
    • 96-bit Unique ID (UID), 128-bit Unique Customer ID (UCID)
  • Operating Voltage – 1.62 to 3.6V
  • Low Power Modes –  Power-down mode with RTC turn on, RAM retention less than 2.0 uA, deep power-down mode with RAM retention less than 1 uA and fast wake-up via multiple peripheral interfaces

The flash support XOM (eXecution Only Memory) mode so that part of the code can only be execute but not read or copied by other tools. If you’ve followed ARM Trustzone for ARMv8-M webinar, you’ll now that there’s both non-secure and secure code on such platform, and in the case of M2351 the user interface runs in the “non-secure world”, while the fingerprint code runs in the “secure world”.

The micro-controller is expected to be used for IoT secure connections, fingerprint authentication, EMV card reader, security alarm system, smart home appliance, wireless sensor node device (WSND), auto meter reading (AMR) and portable wireless data collector.

The company was showcasing their MCU and evaluation board at Embedded World 2017.

Currently the processor’s package is fairly large, but in 3 to 4 months, a 3×3 mm WLCSP package will be available.

There’s no information about the new processor on Nuvotron’s Fingerprint Identification page yet, but I found a few more details on Embedded World Website.


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