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Microcontroller adds secure authentication, uses little power

Microcontroller adds secure authentication, uses little power

Maxim Integrated Products introduces the MAXQ1004, a low-power 16-bit microcontroller that can add secure authentication to any application. Designed with the same security technology as the company's ultra-secure financial terminal microcontrollers, the MAXQ1004 integrates a true random-number generator (RNG) and a high-speed AES encryption engine supporting 128, 192, and 256-bit key sizes. These features enable the most secure authentication and communication schemes, while resisting analytical and cryptanalysis attacks.

This type of authentication is appropriate for use in protecting revenue streams (battery pack authentication), validating peripherals (video game controllers), and implementing secure communication schemes (automotive keyfobs). With 16 KB of integrated flash memory and multiple communication options (including SPI and 1-Wire interfaces), the MAXQ1004 is flexible enough to be programmed for any kind of secure authentication application.

In addition to providing robust authentication, this microcontroller consumes very little power, making it suitable for applications where power consumption must be kept to a minimum. When operating at 6 MHz, the single-cycle MAXQ1004 consumes only 3.75 mA; in its lowest power stop mode, it consumes only 300 nA. For applications like digital still cameras, the MAXQ1004's effect on overall battery consumption is negligible.

However, for coin-cell-powered applications like keyfobs, the device provides extremely long battery life: a MAXQ1004 running from a 64 mAh battery with a 0.1% duty cycle will last for 1.8 years, and with a duty cycle of 0.01%, the battery will last for more than 10 years. A wide operating range (1.7 to 3.6 V) allows the MAXQ1004 to run from two AA batteries.

The MAXQ1004 is available in a lead-free, 16-pin TQFN package and operates over a -40° to 85° C extended temperature range.

For more information, contact Maxim Integrated Products, 120 San Gabriel Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94086. Phone: (408) 737-7600.

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