New opportunities for processor security applications using IoT Edge – Earn Charter

From machine learning to image recognition, compute-intense processes are increasingly moving to the IoT edge. ABI Research sees demand to protect those operations driving a solid market for secure processor capabilities on-device.

The security hardware market is at an inflexion point, where real-time functional safety requirements from the microcontroller space are converging with trusted computing base and secure execution environments capabilities popular in SoC applications.

“A richness in security IP offerings on the market is enabling plenty of use cases for leveraging a trusted hardware foundation in IoT edge, with chipset manufacturers able to offer features such as advanced high assurance boot, hardware firewall domains, run-time attestation, and secure enclaves,” explains Michela Menting, research director at ABI Research.

She opines that most importantly, these capabilities allow building secure edge devices that can run trusted applications and securely communicate over networks to various front and backend services.

There is a democratization of the building blocks for designing secure edge devices: greater availability, more choice, better pricing, and improved functionality. Many security capabilities used to be offered to distinctive markets almost exclusively (microcontroller vs. CPU).

Still, a convergence in the space, driven by the demand for creating trusted applications in a myriad of IoT use cases, is breaking down those barriers. Demand for secure processors spans automotive, industrial, retail, logistics, healthcare, and consumer.

With heavyweights from the processor computing space like Intel, AMD, and TI to smartphone chipmakers including Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Samsung, and microcontroller leaders such as Microchip, NXP, Renesas, and STM, the market for secure processors for the IoT edge is vibrant and highly competitive, all offering innovative and highly performant technology solutions that can meet the modern demands of the IoT edge.

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