Tag Archives: AT24MAC

Atmel makes EEPROMs safe for sensitive data

Earlier this week, Bits & Pieces featured Atmel’s AT24MAC family which provides a pre-programmed MAC address inside of a serial EEPROM device – without consuming any user memory area. Subsequently, we dove into Atmel’s AT24CS Serial EEPROM.

And today we’ll be talking about Atmel’s CryptoMemory, which helps make EEPROMs safe for sensitive data. Indeed, Atmel offers a wide range of cost-efficient, high-security electrically erasable programmable read-only memory chips (EEPROMs) and host-side security for applications requiring comprehensive data protection, including mutual authentication between devices and host.

“Basically, CryptoMemory chips are the world’s largest family of EEPROMs with a 64-bit embedded hardware encryption engine, four sets of non-readable, 64-bit authentication keys, and four sets of non-readable, 64-bit session encryption keys,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“The result? A truly secure means of preventing product counterfeiting and piracy. That is precisely why Atmel’s chip family features a choice of memory densities and is easy to implement in a variety of applications.”

The engineering rep also noted that Atmel’s CryptoMemory chips are available in memory densities ranging from 1 Kbit – 256 Kbits to accommodate diverse storage and cost requirements, all while offering multiple access levels. Meaning, user memory can be divided into as many as 16 separate sections, allowing several different levels of read and write access.

“In addition, a CryptoMemory design kit offers a library of simple API calls that execute the most complex host operations, with the chips providing standard 2-wire communication interfaces to Atmel and other microcontrollers, as well as a standard smart card interface to off-the-shelf readers,” the engineering rep continued.

“Meanwhile, package options include 8-lead SOIC, TSSOP, uDFN and PDIP plastic packages, modules for smart-card applications, as well as wafers thinned down to 6 mils. And last, but certainly not least, Atmel’s CryptoCompanion chip provides simple, plug-and-play authentication on a host device.”

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s CryptoCompanion chip? Additional information, along with a full device breakdown, is available here.

A closer look at Atmel’s AT24CS Serial EEPROM

Yesterday, Bits & Pieces got up close and personal with Atmel’s AT24MAC family which provides a pre-programmed MAC address inside of a serial EEPROM device – without consuming any user memory area.


And today we will be taking a closer look at Atmel’s AT24CS Serial EEPROM. Simply put, practically every application in production today can benefit from or (already) requires a unique identifier or serial number.

“This number allows identification and tracking for multiple purposes including node identity, build control, version control, customer tracking and authenticity check,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“However, building and maintaining an infrastructure to assign and maintain the serialization of products, particularly in high-volume production lines across multiple locations, can be challenging.”

And that’s precisely why Atmel’s AT24CS lineup of devices includes a unique, factory-programmed, read-only 128-bit serial number to help engineers simplify inventory control of mass production lines, all while enhancing product trace-ability.

“The CS family comes in multiple EEPROM array densities from 1Kb through 64Kb,” the Atmel engineering rep continued. “As an application’s needs grow over time and greater memory densities are required, the 128-bit serial number contained within any CS series Serial EEPROM product remains unique, enabling the value to remain distinctive across the entire portfolio of applications.”

As expected, the AT24CS series maintains all of the features that make serial EEPROMs a must-have element in most designs, including one million cycle write endurance, 100-year data retention, byte write capability, along with very low active and standby current consumption. Plus, the read-only serial number is stored in a separate area and does not reduce the user portion of  the memory array.

Interested in learning more about Atmel’s AT24CS and AT24MAC? Be sure to check out our official product page here.

Atmel’s MAC Serial EEPROMs for the IoT

As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a future world where all types of electronic devices link to each other via the Internet. Today, it’s estimated that there are nearly 10 billion devices in the world connected to the Internet, a figure expected to triple to nearly 30 billion by 2020.

To be sure, the Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming products that have traditionally been categorized as stand-alone devices into smart products which are accessible via the Internet or capable of interacting with similar devices on a local network.

In order to successfully operate on the network, each device requires a unique identifying number which is commonly referred to as a MAC address. However, acquiring and maintaining a database of MAC addresses can be very cumbersome indeed. Fortunately, Atmel’s AT24MAC family provides a pre-programmed MAC address inside of a serial EEPROM device – without consuming any user memory area.

“By utilizing AT24MAC devices with globally unique hardware addresses embedded on-board, designers no longer need to absorb the management costs and time associated with acquiring, using and managing an allotment of MAC/EUI addresses,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“The AT24MAC series makes it simpler, faster and less expensive to develop Internet-connected products. As it is based on Atmel’s proven and optimized serial EEPROM technology, the AT24MAC series of products provide the same high levels of endurance and data retention that engineers expect from us.”

It should also be noted that the AT24MAC series maintains byte-write capability and low power consumption. Meaning, engineers don’t have to sacrifice features or performance when adding  MAC address functionality to a design.

Additional key features include a unique pre-programmed MAC/EUI address, permanent and reversible EEPROM write protection, the ability to store and protect vital system data, an entire EEPROM array (available for use), unique serial numbers, pre-programmed true EUI-64 addresses and a pre-programmed, read-only 128-bit serial number.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to check out our official AT24MAC (series) product page here.