Perhaps the biggest buzz word after Cloud Computing is now the Internet of Things (IoT). In the IoT landscape, you can envision millions of interconnected devices that are constantly sharing data and also responding to user inputs.
By far, the biggest factor that has hampered the rapid proliferation of IoT enabled devices is yet again, cyber security. If all the communication which takes places between the IoT integrated devices is not properly secured, it can pose serious security concerns.
With these impediments in mind, Microsoft stared developing a platform that would not only seamlessly integrate IoT devices, but also secure them from external threats and vulnerabilities. The end result is their latest microcontroller called Azure Sphere.
Microsoft Azure Sphere is a highly secure, intelligent and powerful microcontroller that can be integrated into many IoT devices. The unique feature of Sphere is that it integrates hardware, software and the cloud into a unified, secure and effective solution.
On paper, Azure Sphere comes equipped with the 7 key characteristics of highly secure devices. These include a hardware based root of trust, in depth defense, trusted computing base, dynamic compartmentalization, authentication, error reporting and security.
MediaTek’s MT3620 will become the first ever microcontroller to be Azure Sphere certified. The said chip is amply powerful to the run the Linux based operating system. In addition to MediaTek, we will also see Sphere in NXP and Qualcomm microprocessors.
This move is designed to give users a fair degree of choice in terms of vendors. This wide deployment of Sphere will also end up delivering microcontrollers with different capabilities, thus amplifying their scope of application.
During the entire development phase of Sphere, special emphasis has been laid on security. The solution comes equipped with dedicated cores that handle just the chip’s indigenous security subsystem, that the company calls Pluton.
Sphere has entered the general availability phase, which means we will soon be seeing the deployment of this IoT security solution at a massive scale. The true test of the solution will however begin when it is actually faces the ever growing cyber threats out there.