Chips developed for microcontroller unit applications

MediaTek announced it has collaborated with Microsoft to deliver the first of a family of ARM-based Azure Sphere chips, the MT3620, which is designed to create a secure microcontroller unit (MCU) powered devices for connected applications.
By Chris Middleton, Vinelake April 28, 2018

MediaTek announced it has collaborated with Microsoft to deliver the first of a family of ARM-based Azure Sphere chips, the MT3620. Azure Sphere is Microsoft’s new Linux-based software kernel for creating secure microcontroller unit (MCU) powered devices for connected applications.

The collaboration is the first fruit of a program in which Microsoft makes its Internet of Things (IoT) System on Chip (SoC) designs available to hardware manufacturers, which make and sell the chips on to IoT device makers, effectively locking them in to the Azure Sphere OS, along with Microsoft’s cloud and edge services.

"MediaTek has a long history of working with Microsoft on specific SoC designs that meet demanding connectivity needs," said Jerry Yu, MediaTek corporate VP and general manager of the Intelligent Devices Business Group.

Significant drops in the cost of connectivity mean that billions of SoC-powered devices, from household appliances and health monitors to children’s toys and industrial equipment, will be connected over the next few years.

More than nine billion of these microcontroller-powered devices are entering the market annually, according to MediaTek, which makes it critical that industry leaders work together to ensure that every connected device, regardless of price, has the highest level of security embedded within it.

Microsoft’s solution is to secure the SoCs at firmware level, and prevent hackers or malicious code from highjacking IoT devices’ wireless connectivity and processors for cryptomining and other unauthorized purposes.

"Today, computing is more powerful and ubiquitous from the cloud to the edge. In the next decade we’ll see the democratization of connectivity to billions of devices," said Galen Hunt, MD Azure Sphere, Microsoft.

Chris Middleton is the editor of Internet of Business (IoB), a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared here. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media, cvavra@cfemedia.com.

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