A closer look at Atmel’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

Last week, Bits & Pieces embarked on a deep dive of the ATECC108 solution, an elliptical curve cryptography (ECC) product. Today, we will be taking a closer look at Atmel’s Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which provides a strong hardware-based public key (RSA) for both personal computers and embedded processors on a single chip.

Essentially, the Trusted Platform Module can best be described as a complete turnkey system that integrates industry-leading Atmel AVR microcontroller architecture, Atmel EEPROM technology and Atmel security technology.

“Implementing version 1.2 of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) specification for TPMs, the chip delivers intellectual property protection, system integrity, authentication and secure communications,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“Plus, it should probably be noted that the Trusted Platform Module Embedded TWI Development Kit received a 2008 Readers Tech Choice Award from eg3, an independent news source devoted to electronic design.”

In addition, the TPM includes integrated, protected nonvolatile storage for cryptographic keys, secrets and authorization information. As expected, the platform also offers full TCG compliance, boasting a high-quality hardware random number generator, active shielding and a variety of tamper-detection and response circuits.

In terms of performance, the TPM’s cryptographic accelerator is capable of computing a 2048-bit RSA signature in 200ms, with the platform supporting SIRQ for interrupts and CLKRUN to permit clock stopping for power savings in mobile computers. The TPM is also equipped with two interfaces: a 33 MHz LPC interface for PC integration and a dual-wire interface for non-PC and embedded computing systems.

And last, but certainly not least, BIOS and hardware drivers are available for both Windows and Linux, along with third-party system and application software.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s extensive and versatile security portfolio? Be sure to check out our official security page here .

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