Optimised cryptographic solution for home automation on Cortus APS3RP core

Montpellier, France and Zürich, Switzerland 25 May 2016 - Oberon microsystems, a specialist in software engineering for the Internet of Things, and Cortus, a technology leader in low power, silicon efficient, 32-bit processor IP, announce the first results of their cooperation. Oberon’s highly efficient cryptographic code, a key component of its OberonHAP product, has been ported to and optimised for the Cortus APS3RP 32-bit IP core. The combination of the tiny software memory footprint and minimalist processor core is well suited to secure ASICs in battery-powered home automation devices.

Oberon microsystems has developed, analysed and optimised the cryptographic code of OberonHAP since 2013. They have developed – and formally proved - novel algorithm combinations, and have carefully written critical parts in assembly language for high performance. The resulting software is typically three times as fast as a good implementation in C. OberonHAP thus makes secure home automation feasible even on low-power, low-cost 32-bit microcontroller cores for ASICs.

“Home automation is a key application area for Cortus”, says Michael Chapman, CEO and President of Cortus, “So we are delighted to see the first steps completed in making Oberon’s code available for Cortus licensees”. He adds, “With growing connectivity of home devices, security is essential and Cortus welcomes teaming up with Oberon microsystems in this field”.

OberonHAP implements the following cryptographic algorithms for pairing, authentication and encryption:

Secure Remote Password (SRP)

For an integrated circuit with the processor core running at 50 MHz, the cryptographic processing of the SRP algorithm – which is required once in the lifetime of a home automation device – takes less than five seconds. Cryptographic processing during opening of a session between a device and a smartphone takes less than 100 milliseconds. RAM requirements were brought down to a record-low 2.5 KB.

“The combination of Oberon’s optimised cryptographic code and the APS3RP results in very good performance even on low-cost, low power devices”, said Cuno Pfister, managing director of Oberon microsystems AG, “We look forward to further cooperation with Cortus in the area of security for home appliances.”

The APS3RP is an enhanced performance version of the widely-deployed APS3R and provides a single cycle parallel multiplier. It has a Harvard architecture and a 3-stage pipeline. The Cortus family of APS processors offers a wide choice of computational performance and system complexity for embedded SoCs. All cores interface to Cortus’ peripherals including Ethernet 10/100 MAC, USB 2.0 Device and USB 2.0 OTG. They also share the simple vectored interrupt structure which ensures rapid, real time interrupt response, with low software overhead.

The APS toolchain and IDE (for C and C++) is available to licensees free of charge, and can be customised and branded for final customer use. Ports of various RTOSs are available such as FreeRTOS™, Micrium μC/OSII®, Micrium μC/OSIII® and Blunk TargetOS™.To date well over 900 million devices have been manufactured containing Cortus processor cores.

Cortus will be exhibiting at the Internet of Things Developers Conference (IoT DevCon) at the Hyatt Santa Clara, California from 25th-26th May 2016

About Cortus S.A.S.:
Cortus S.A.S. is a technology enabler for rapidly growing applications including Internet of Things (IoT), wearable electronic devices, smart sensors and security. It has specialised in 32-bit processor cores which can significantly reduce manufacturing costs while achieving good computational performance and meeting tight power constraints. Integrated circuits containing Cortus cores have been manufactured in high volumes for a wide range of applications including automotive, CMOS imaging, M2M controllers, secure execution, sensors, SIM cards, PayTV cards, smart metering and wireless. Cortus’ headquarters are in Montpellier, France.


About Oberon microsystems, Inc.:
Oberon microsystems is an Internet of Things enabler located in Zürich, Switzerland. It has developed various Internet of Things products, from a Web-enabled Java RTOS for microcontrollers to a system for remotely fine-tuning hearing aids over the Internet. Recognizing security as a key requirement for the Internet of Things, Oberon has developed optimized implementations of cryptographic algorithms for an advanced home automation platform.


For further information please contact:
Cortus S.A.S. Contact:
Roddy Urquhart
+44 753 158 7023
Oberon microsystems, Inc. Contact:
Cuno Pfister
+41 44 520 3521

Distributed on behalf of Cortus S.A.S. by NeonDrum news distribution service (http://www.neondrum.com)

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