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Trends and opportunities of microcontrollers in 2020

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Trends and opportunities of microcontrollers in 2020

MCU often have QFP, QFN and so on package. it also need the MCU socket to test and programming.

MCU, To put it simply, MCU is only one of the names of various electronic devices, that is, the so-called single-chip microcomputer, also known as micro-control unit. Literally speaking, MCU, single-chip microcomputer is sometimes often regarded as a concept, and microprocessor is MPU is another concept. MCU itself integrates FLASH and RAM, power-up programs to run from on-chip FLASH. The speed is fast, and the program can be encrypted, but the capacity of FLASH and RAM on the chip is limited. "

Multi-chip Module (MCU) / Common package Security processor / Communication Integration-Security Challenge.

When the user credit card information and facilities are connected to the HVAC (HVAC) system, the security of edge and embedded processing become the main factors affecting the system structure. There are many ways to enhance security in a data storage environment, but none of them is foolproof.

History has shown that security layering is the best way to protect valuable information or assets. Fortress and castle designs are excellent examples of security layering, which increases as others approach valuable items. It is well known that in the data breach case of a national retail chain in the United States in 2013, hackers hacked into the Web app in the HVAC system of one of the stores to obtain credit card information.

So what does this have to do with microcontrollers?

In industrial systems, microcontrollers are very important to the Industrial Internet of things (I-IoT). In order to pursue higher factory production and efficiency, decision-making is pushed close to the process point, which is also known as edge processing. Joins are inherent in this deployment. The connected device is the entrance to the virtual castle or factory and the first line of defense.

After a vulnerability occurs, the usual immediate response is to overstrengthen every layer of defense to ensure that all entry points are equally secure. For remote sensors powered by fieldbus and supporting microcontrollers, it is not feasible to improve software security due to processing limitations. Security must be designed to suit the functions of the sensor to avoid adding unnecessary cost and complexity.

For edge processors, architecture optimization is the key to increasing defense capabilities without compromising the processor's primary responsibility for process control. There are many decisions to be made in order to build a single-chip (SoC), a multi-chip module (MCM) or an analog microcontroller. Do you want to secure the data link or the processor? Both accomplish the same task, but have different effects on the system.

Data link security requires software overhead and usually affects data speed and connection quality of service ((QoS)). Typical security protocols use encryption, which increases the burden on processor resources. The increased resource requirements are inconsistent with the requirements of remote sensors that perform simple tasks. Data security encryption requires frequent updates and may affect factory output because the sensor gets update patches offline.

Securing the processor is another approach that has the opportunity to scale as the system evolves and threats increase. For multiprocessor SoC or MCM, coprocessors can be added to perform join and security functions at little additional cost. This approach isolates the process control processor (application processor) while the coprocessor provides security and manages connections. With the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) variants in the field of neural networks, a small neural network (NN), can be used on the coprocessor to provide a security barrier to prevent unwanted intruders. A small NN can act as a remote sentinel and present in different ways for different threat levels, which is a kind of digital camouflage. It can also be updated periodically without harming the process controller, so process control restrictions and standards can be maintained. To optimize power management, you can put the sentry / communication processor in deep sleep mode when it is not in use, so that the application processor can run freely.

Current packaging technology provides a variety of options for deploying flexible MCM, with built-in security and sentinel / communication processors, analog interfaces to maintain sensor accuracy, and application processors to keep the plant running. You can think of it as a node with emulation and security + MCU. MCM uses the best technology for every job in the edge processor node and can be assembled from a standard product.

Data security is the key to customer trust. If implemented cleverly, it can resist the invasion and save the cost of castle.

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