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Renesas Electronics America - Knowledgebase

Security FAQ

Latest Updated:10/04/2016


How is unauthorized code prevented from being programmed and executed on Synergy? Is there a feature to protect the firmware and data on the MCU, and protect communication data from interception and tampering?


To enhance security, the Renesas Synergy MCUs support several new security-related functions. For example, when each MCU is manufactured, it is assigned a unique 128-bit number which can be used to generate a unique key for each device. The high- and mid-range Renesas Synergy MCUs feature hardware accelerators for symmetric cryptography and asymmetric cryptography (including RSA2048, DLP, ECDLP, and DSA 2048) as well as HASH (SHA1, SHA224 and SHA256).  Each MCU in the S7 and S5 Series also feature a true random number generator, an accelerator for asymmetric key generation and key secure storage. Series S3 MCUs have all these same security capabilities but only implement symmetric key generation. Some of these increasingly crucial security functions can be found at the low power end of the product line where the S1 Series devices feature a true random number generator and some basic encryption functions like AES 128 and 256.

Which parts of the source code of the SSP are write protected?  

All Express Logic components (OS & Stacks) are protected unless you chose to purchase access.
Renesas SSP Framework layer is also protected. SSP HAL is clear source.

Anti-Tampering detection support functions: Is there a feature where interrupts on some dedicated ports are captured with a time stamp (e.g. in low power mode when only RTC is supplied)?

Yes, 3 anti tamper inputs are available to the Real-Time Clock.
Notes: the Ethernet interfaces are using the same pins as for anti-tamper functions (one Ethernet interface uses 1 of the 3 anti-tamper inputs, the other uses 2 of the 3 anti-tamper inputs). This means that we lose at least one anti-tamper input as soon as we use one of the Ethernet interfaces.

Secure MPU: Is there any difference between the “Secure MPU” and the MPU provided/specified by ARM?

Secure MPU and ARM MPU offer different functionality, ARM MPU offers only protection from the Core to step into defined regions and the Secure MPU is intended for Third Party IP protection. For a more comprehensive explanation of the secure MPU please refer to Synergy MCU User’s Manual.

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