You’ve got secrets, and you want to keep them safe? Most microcontrollers are not designed to protect against snoopers, but a crypto-authentication chip can be used to lock away private keys securely. Once the private key is saved inside, it can’t be read out, all you can do is send it challenge-response queries. That means that even if someone gets hold of your hardware and can read back the firmware, they won’t be able to extract the secret!
The ATECC608 is the latest crypto-auth chip from Microchip, and it uses I2C to send/receive commands. Once you ‘lock’ the chip with your details, you can use it for ECDH and AES-128 encrypt/decrypt/signing. There’s also hardware support for random number generation, and SHA-256/HMAC hash functions to greatly speed up a slower micro’s cryptography commands.
To make working with the ATECC608 as easy as possible, we’ve put it on a breakout PCB with the required support circuitry and SparkFun qwiic compatible STEMMA QT connectors. This allows you to use it with other similarly equipped boards without needing to solder. This chip will work with 3.3V or 5V power/logic micros, so it’s ready to get to work with a range of development boards.
Please note the I2C address is fixed at 0x60 and according to Microchip, you should use this at higher I2C speeds like 400KHz if other devices are on the I2C bus, to avoid some I2C bus contention (much like the datasheet, this is not documented anywhere yet)
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.