Microchip PIC32CZ CA 300 MHz Arm Cortex-M7 MCU features a Hardware Security Module (HSM)

Microchip PIC32CZ CA is a new family of Arm Cortex-M7 microcontrollers with the PIC32CZ CA90 integrating a Hardware Security Module (HSM), and the PIC32CZ CA80 doing without one.

The HSM in the PIC32CZ CA90 provides advanced security for industrial and consumer applications and operates as a secure subsystem with a separate MCU on board that runs the firmware and security features including hardware secure boot, key storage, cryptographic acceleration, true random number generator, and more.

Microchip PIC32CZ CA microcontroller with HSM module

Microchip PIC32CZ CA key features and specifications:

  • MCU core – Arm Cortex-M7 clocked at up to 300 MHz with 16KB ECC-protected instruction and data L1 cache, up to 256Kb of Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM): 128 KB each of ECC-protected Instruction and Data TCM
  • Memory
    • 512KB or 1MB SRAM with ECC, 8KB SRAM for backup mode
    • 2MB, 4MB, or 8MB flash
    • 2x 80KB boot flash memory
    • 16-bit external bus interface (EBI) – Static memory controller for SRAM, PSRAM, LCD module, Flash
    • Up to 2x SDHC Memory Card interfaces
  • Audio – Up to 2x I2S modules
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet with support for IEEE 1588 (PTP), 802.3az, AVB
  • USB – Up to 2x USB 2.0 high-speed ports
  • Other Peripheral interfaces
    • Up to 10x Serial Communication Interfaces (SERCOM), USART, I2C, SPI
    • Up to 2x SQI (Serial Quad Interface)
    • Up to 6x CAN Bus ports with dedicated DMA channel, support for CAN 2.0 A/B and CAN-FD
    • Media Local Bus controller (3-wire mode)
    • 5V tolerant digital input pins
    • 16-Channel hardware DMA controller
    • Up to 10x Timer/Counter Capture (TCC)/output compares
    • Analog peripherals
      • 12-bit ADC SAR Module
      • 2x analog comparators
      • Peripheral Capacitive Touch Controller (PTC)
      • Integrated temperature sensor
  • Hardware Security Module (HSM) – Note: PIC32CZ CA90 only
    • Dedicated Secure Subsystem that supports the following cryptography: AES, TDES, ChaCha20, SHA-2, SHA-1, Poly1305, RSA
      and ECC.
    • Secure boot support for main/host CPU: Validation of host code image and host code signature validation.
    • Secure update support for host code: Secure encryption key storage and image decryption
  • Debugging
    • Embedded Trace Module with instruction trace stream
    • Instruction Debug Trace Port Interface Unit
    • 2-wire Serial Wire Debug Interface
    • 4-Wire JTAG Scan/Debug Interface
  • Operating Voltage – 1.75 to 1.85 V
  • Power management
    • Power-on Reset (POR) and Brown-Out Reset (BOR)
    • Multiple power management modes: Idle, Stand-by, Hibernate, Backup, and Off modes
    • Ultra low-power Real Time Clock (RTC) and Real-time Timer (RTT)
  • Package – TFBGA208 (15x15mm)
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C
PIC32CZ CA80 CA90 block diagram
Block diagram

MPLAB Harmony v3 embedded software development framework is used to test, program, and debug the PIC32CZ  CA microcontrollers, and includes MPLAB Code Configurator’s (MCC’s) graphical user interface for easy configuration, RTOS such as FreeRTOS and Azure RTOS, the MPLAB XC Compiler, and the MPLAB X IDE.

If you select the PIC32CZ CA90 microcontroller with the HSM for your design, you’ll need to sign an NDA to get access to the HSM datasheet to work on the firmware and use the MPLAB Harmony Crypto v4 for development.

HSM workflow

Microchip also provides the PIC32CZ CA90 Curiosity Ultra and PIC32CZ CA80 Curiosity Ultra development boards for evaluation and early software development before the eventual target board is ready.

PIC32CZ CA90 Curiosity Ultra development board
PIC32CZ CA90 Curiosity Ultra development board

The latest Microchip Arm Cortex-M7 microcontrollers are not exactly cheap parts, as the PIC32CZ CA80 goes for $14.80 each in 10,000-unit quantities and the PIC32CZ CA90 sells for $15.54 each in 10,000-unit quantities, while the development boards are sold for $249. Additional information, including documentation to get started, can be found on the product page, and the press release may also offer a few more details.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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