#EFM32howto 4. Ensuring safe access to your low power security systems

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CCTVs, alarm systems, and security sensors replace human surveillance against thieves and any unforeseen fire and smoke accidents. Also the high crime rate in urban areas causes city dwellers to have extensive advanced security systems around their residential areas. In addition to such defensive purposes, the increasing use of smart card readers requires high-end solutions to ensure safe transactions and to protect personal information.

In order to satisfy such high-end security demands, it is necessary to provide secure and long lasting security systems that relieve users from worries of sudden shutdowns or safety breaches. The EFM32 microcontrollers help in offering both longer battery life and high functionality in security systems. The 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor enables superior math capability also performs the same amount of tasks much more energy efficient than other 8-, 16, or 32-bit microcontrollers. The microcontrollers are further designed to reduce the current consumption and minimize energy spill with unique low power features like Low Energy UART with 100nA receive mode and unique LESENSE (Low Energy Sensor Interface).

The EFM32 microcontrollers also provide on-chip AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) which makes it easy for application designers to meet security requirements and save more power. AES is a symmetric key encryption standard used worldwide and known for hardware friendly, requiring few resources, and working fast. With good defense system against various attacks, it is adaptable in a wide range of security areas such as door locks, alarms, and smart cards. The hardware AES accelerator (symmetric block cipher engine) found in EFM32 microcontrollers can be used with 128-bit block sizes and 128- or 256-bit keys with little or no CPU intervention. The AES encryption hardware typically uses 54 HFCORECLK cycles with 128-bit keys and 75 HFCORECLK cycles with 256-bit keys and is available in Energy Mode 0 to Energy Mode 1 and significantly reduces encryption/decryption time.

Watch how the EFM32 can reduce energy usage:

Download a relevant application note: AES Cipher Modes with EFM32

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