At Sensors Expo 2019, Bob Martin, a senior staff engineer for Microchip Technology describes how a security encryption element on two demo boards can securely connect sensors to the Internet for Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.
The AVR-IoT and the PIC-IoT development boards provide instant connectivity through bus connectors to the MikroElektronika Wi-Fi PLUS click. With hundreds of sensor boards to plug in, MikroElektronika provides quick access to online sensor connectivity. Using Microchip’s MRF24WB0MA, a 2.4GHz, IEEE 802.11 compliant module and a Microchip MCW1001 companion controller with on-board TCP/IP stack and 802.11 connection manager, the click supports both IEEE 802.11 and IP services.
The boards come with an ATWINC1510 Wi-Fi network controller with 8 Mb of flash memory and either a 16-bit PIC24 or 8-bit ATmega4808 microcontroller (MCU). However, with the importance of IoT security, both boards have an ATECC608A CryptoAuthentication secure element IC, where the public keys are already registered with Google Cloud IoT core platform. As a result, the boards automatically connect securely to Google Cloud to eliminate security concerns that will be omnipresent as everyone is using sensors to collect data.
Both development boards come preloaded with a firmware image that enables users to quickly connect and send data to the Google Cloud IoT platform using the on-board temperature and light sensors. For development, both boards also include an on-board debugger and require no external hardware to program and debug the MCUs. To build custom design, users can easily generate code using the free software libraries in MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC).