DSP, Micros & Memory


Enhanced code protection for USB µC portfolio

30 April 2024 DSP, Micros & Memory

The well-known advantages of a Universal Serial Bus interface for embedded designs include its compatibility with various devices, streamlined communication protocol, in-field updatability, and power delivery capabilities. To help easily incorporate this functionality into embedded systems, Microchip Technology has launched the AVR DU family of microcontrollers. As the next generation of Microchip 8-bit MCUs to integrate USB connectivity, the AVR DU family is designed to provide enhanced security features and higher power delivery than previous iterations.

“USB is the standard communication protocol and power delivery method for electronic devices,” said Greg Robinson, corporate vice president of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit. “Microchip’s AVR DU family combines the flexibility of our most advanced 8-bit MCUs with the versatility of enhanced power delivery, to bring the benefits of USB to a wider range of embedded systems.”

AVR DU MCUs support power delivery of up to 15 W from the USB interface, a capability not commonly found in other USB microcontrollers within its class. This feature enables USB-C charging with currents up to 3A at 5V, making these MCUs an excellent choice for devices like portable power banks and rechargeable toys.

To strengthen its defence against malicious attacks, the AVR DU family incorporates Microchip’s Program and Debug Interface Disable (PDID) feature. When enabled, the enhanced code protection is designed to lock out access to the programming/debugging interface and block unauthorised attempts to read, modify or erase firmware. To enable secure firmware updates, the AVR DU family employs Read-While-Write (RWW) Flash and, when combined with a secure bootloader, designers can use the USB interface for patching bugs, addressing security concerns and adding new features, without disrupting product operation. This updated functionality in the AVR DU MCUs is designed to allow for uninterrupted, in-field updates to help extend the lifetime value of products.


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