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NXP’s EdgeVerse: A Blend of Old and New

June 18, 2019
With EdgeVerse, NXP organizes its offerings around security that ranges from secure elements to secure processors.

NXP Semiconductors’ EdgeVerse platform brand (see figure) brings together its existing product lines along with new entries that target the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0. The platform covers a range of turnkey solutions plus scalable embedded processing systems with an emphasis on security and artificial intelligence.

One component of EdgeVerse is the new EdgeLock security brand. It encompasses discrete secure elements (SE) through integrated embedded security support found in microcontrollers and SoC solutions.

NXP’s EdgeVerse is built around security from secure elements to secure processors.

The latest EdgeLock product is the SE050 Plug & Trust Secure Element (SE) family. The Common Criteria (CC) EAL 6+-certified chips are designed to streamline deployment of IoT services.

“NXP’s EdgeLock SE050 is converging secure sensing, secure connections to multiple cloud services, and integrity protection of a trusted IoT platform,” said Philippe Dubois, vice president and general manager of IoT security and smart mobility and retail at NXP Semiconductors. "As part of our ‘Plug & Trust’ approach, EdgeLock SE050 simplifies the implementation of strong security mechanisms to meet the ever-increasing demand for easy-to-design and scalable IoT security." 

The EdgeLock SE050 supports up to 4096-bit RSA cryptography and integration of Elliptic Curve (ECC) cryptography, including support for expanded set of curves such as Brainpool, Edwards, and Montgomery. The chips have I2C master functionality, allowing them to directly control critical functions. A flexible applet eliminates the need to write security code, and a contactless interface allows for late-stage parameter configuration of unpowered devices.

The EdgeVerse embedded processing portfolio includes the existing i.MX and Layerscape applications processors, K32, LPC and Kinetis microcontrollers, i.MX RT crossover processors, as well as NXP’s automotive microcontrollers and processors.

NXP’s partnership with Microsoft and its Azure Sphere platform highlight a forthcoming EdgeVerse offering. This i.MX 8 SoC includes Microsoft’s Pluton security hardware—the chip has a single- or dual-core Cortex-A35 along with a single-core Cortex-M33 to handle real-time chores. The Cortex-A35 will run Microsoft’s Azure Sphere OS, which is a compact, secure version of Linux.

EdgeVerse includes support for NXP’s eIQ machine-learning (ML) development environment. It allows ML models to run on microcontrollers that lack any hardware acceleration through SoCs that do include this hardware, such as GPGPU support. The scope of these models will be limited by the performance and capacity of the system, but moving models up to higher-performance systems is relatively transparent.

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