ST Microelectronics – STM32MP1

New features, security and a brillant MPU for running Android!

Ed Langley, Engineering Manager @Witekio speaks to Martin Lesniak, Principal  Engineer @STMicroelectronics

Securing your device

Security is a growing concern in IoT devices. Ensure the success of your software development by using a chip with amazing hardware security features. STMicroelectronics’ STM32MP1 MPU, combined with Witekio’s secure development life-cycle solutions has got you covered for your IoT projects:

> Trust Zone along with OP-TEE allowing to compose a trusted execution environment

> Firmware update OTA

> Secure boot authentication to stop unsigned code running

> Root of trust

> OTP area for specific places in the space for secret credentials

> Compatible with @Witekio’s FullmetalUpdate OTA solution

New Features

The latest CPU of the STM family offers dazzling new features:

> It can process dual A7 cores up to 800 megahertz.

> On the memory side: it supports eMMC, NAND, quad SPI, NOR, SD card

> Advanced graphics support capabilities.

> Its GPU supports an OpenGL ES 2.0 standard.

> Has peripherals that allow easy connectivity to various displays including the MPIDI-DSI units.

> It is compatible with Linux, Qt and Android.

> It includes USB connectivity, gigabit Ethernet, CAN, I2C, UART, SPI.

> It offers plenty of timers, just like a microcontroller would.

Making your product reliable

Basing a product around the STM32MP1 has shown to be a remarkable solution for IoT, connectivity and HMI performance.

The Cortex-M within the MP1 can handle the precise timing needed for hard real-time computational activities, to complement a larger OS like Linux running on the Cortex-A.

Martin Lesniak, Principal Engineer at STMicroelectronics was involved in several such use cases of the MP1.

Flexible Architecture to Meet HMI
and Real Time Operation

If you have multiple heterogenous cores running different OSs in your IoT device, it is essential that the software running across them can communicate effectively.

To enable that intercommunication with lower design costs for you and faster time to market, STMicroelectronics has integrated the standard OpenAMP framework into the MP1 – running on the Cortex-M4, to communicate with the A7 CPU.

The option to run an RTOS or bare-metal code on the M4 makes it possible to include very time-critical functionality such as Motor Control for industrial applications.

Further flexibility is provided by the ease of migrating code from STM32 F2 and F4 chips to the Cortex-M4 within the MP1.

Running linux on the STM32MP1

ST has developed an open-source, Linux distribution, called OpenSTLinux. It has been mainlined and is acknowledged and accepted by the Linux community.

The distribution supports development for the Cortex-A7 side of the device equation, and it contains elements such as:

  • The Linux BSP
  • Kernel Drivers
  • A secure OS managed by OP-TEE

NXP – Secure by Design 

Amanda McGregor speaks about implementing security into IoT products with the help of the i.MX8 MCU.

  • OEM build security enablement systems into their design specs, from development through to product release.
  • The i.MX 8, which can run Linux, has great security capabilities such as:
    • Secure Boot,
    • Cryptography Encryption,
    • Trustzone,
    • Cloud to Edge capacity and,
    • Power/Intelligence Tracking to minimize external attacks.
  • Warning to OEMs on the alarming statistics regarding breaches (up 67% in the past 5 years) and, with new regulations coming into play, the recommendation to implement additional security into new and existing products.

Amanda McGregor, Head of Product Innovation for Advanced Edge Processors

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