ARM Brings Data-Center Security to IoT Devices

ARM (ARMH) has released a new processor architecture that will bring its TrustZone security to embedded devices utilizing the IoT.

Elizabeth Montalbano

November 23, 2015

2 Min Read
Mike Muller CTO of ARM
Mike Muller, CTO of ARM

As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes less an idea and more a reality, the next logical step is to figure out how to secure all of the myriad devices that will connect in the new paradigm. To that end, ARM (ARMH) has released a new processor architecture that will bring its TrustZone security to embedded devices utilizing the IoT.

The company unveiled the 32-bit ARMv8-M architecture, which will allow developers to have a fast and efficient way of protecting any embedded or Internet of Things (IoT) device, the company said in a press release.

“By offering security, enhanced scalability, and improved debug, the ARMv8-M architecture makes it easier for developers to meet the needs of next-generation embedded devices,” said Mike Muller, chief technology officer at ARM, in the release. “Security is critical, yet small embedded devices often have limited protection or are secured with software-managed security that requires developers to have significant technical expertise. By moving the protection down into the hardware architecture …we are making security easier to implement and much more efficient.”

ARM’s TrustZone technology separates and isolates resources that aren’t trusted from trusted resources, such as hardware, software and data, on a device. It also reduces the area that attackers can target. ARM unveiled the technology about 10 years ago.

As part of the news, ARM also introduced the TrustZone CryptoCell product family, which creates an additional layer of hardware security and enables security developers to isolate storage of high-value assets, the company said. The new offerings also enable optimized cryptography and the lifecycle management of key materials.

Specifically, ARM’s new architecture scales, making it easier for developers to write code for a range of devices from the most energy-efficient to the highest performing ARMv8-M based processor, the company said. They also will find it easy to integrate different types of ARM processors in one device, such as the low-power ARM Cortex-M processors alongside more powerful Cortex-A processors.

This integration will allow for the development of higher performance system-on-chip (SoC) products, which will provide numerous opportunities for smart connected technology that will be a part of the IoT, according to ARM.

Indeed, industry experts expect the IoT to grow rapidly in the next five years. IDC predicts IoT spending to reach $1.7 trillion by 2020, while Cisco has said it expects that the number of connected devices worldwide will increase from 25 billion last year to more than 50 billion by the end of the decade.

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About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Montalbano

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 15 years. She has lived and worked as a professional journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco, and New York City. In her free time she enjoys surfing, traveling, music, yoga, and cooking. She currently resides in a small village on the southwest coast of Portugal.

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