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Electronics news

Microcontrollers with enhanced code security

Microchip announced the PIC18-Q24 family of microcontrollers (MCUs) with new features to enhance security and increase flexibility.

With these new devices, Microchip aims to improve the security of its MCUs and processors. The datasheet for the PIC18-Q24 family states that it is available in 28/40/44/48-pin configurations and package types range from SOIC to VQFN.

The PIC18-Q24 line of microcontrollers has up to 64 KB of memory for storing executable instructions, 4 KB of data memory (volatile SRAM), and 512 bytes of EEPROM (non-volatile ROM). The block diagram highlights the programming, debugging, and supervision modules, which contain a sub-block called "enhanced code protection". Code protection prevents intruders from programming, reading, or modifying the code on the PIC18-Q24.

The PIC18-Q24 contains configuration registers controlled by the stack overflow/non-complement reset enable function (bit 4 of the CONFIG4 register).

Write protection prevents unwanted or unauthorized programming or modification of memory and instructions. This protection is critical for IoT devices such as thermostats and home appliances that are connected to the cloud. Using the cloud, attackers can modify and control devices that utilize microcontrollers. Features such as PDID make the device inaccessible to attacks.

The PIC18-Q24 lineup also features multi-voltage I/O (MVIO) to work with a variety of sensors and peripherals.