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Azure Sphere – Microsoft reveals their next level of chip security

Microsoft is already getting ready for the Internet of Things with Azure Sphere and extra layers of security

We are not so far away from the era when almost everything in our houses would connect to the Internet. House automation has been a reality already, which is even easier with the popularity of smart speakers, for example. Connected devices will become more intelligent with the ability to predict, talk, listen, answer and interact with humans. The era of the Internet of Things is arriving day by day at a fast pace.

All these connected devices have in common a tiny chip called MCU – microcontroller. This chip controls everything, they are the brain of the device, they stored all the information. To have an idea today over 9 billion of MCU powered devices are built and deployed every year, the quantity of those devices shipped every year is bigger than the entire human population. Nowadays, most of the MCU’s in the market are not connected to the internet yet, but soon they will, which means that they will be an open door to attacks and security concerns.

Security and data protection are in the spotlight all over the world in the last years. Big companies, such as Facebook already demonstrated how exposed  consumers can be. Since the beginning the internet has been a two-way street, it makes our life extremely easy, our workplace more efficient and it can seem like we barely have world borders sometimes. On the other hand, the cybersecurity attacks are a huge concern and happen more frequently than we expected.

Microsoft Azure Sphere, a new era for chip producers

Microsoft Azure Sphere is a new solution to create highly-secured, internet-connected microcontroller devices, basically extra secure chips, which will be completely ready for the IoT era. A solution to avoid all the concerns related to security, once you have one single chip storing your valuable data.  

The solution brings together three critical pieces and advances: 

1 - Azure Sphere is based on Microsoft’s development of an entirely new class of MCUs with more than five times the power of legacy MCUs. They will license the IP for these new MCUs royalty free to silicon manufacturers, removing barriers for silicon partners who want to develop and manufacture Azure Sphere chips.

2 - Azure Sphere will bring to these new chips a new customized operating system built for IoT security. This OS incorporates a custom Linux kernel that has been optimized for an IoT environment and reworked with security innovations pioneered in Windows to create a highly secured software environment. 

3 - Azure Sphere will feature a turnkey cloud security service that guards every Azure Sphere device, including the ability to update and upgrade this security protection for a 10-year lifetime of the device. Importantly, Azure Sphere will work alongside any cloud – private or proprietary – so that customers can continue to use their existing data infrastructure while adopting Azure Sphere’s groundbreaking security for their devices. 

 

Check below to watch the video with the Microsoft Azure Sphere Vision:

 

Azure Sphere brings together the best of hardware, software and service innovation. It is open to any MCU chip manufacturer, open to additional software innovation by the open source community and open to work with any cloud. In a nutshell represents a critical new step for Microsoft, which integrates innovation across every aspect of technology. The holistic solution will bring more security and agility to IoT devices.

If you want to know more about Azure Sphere click here to go to the Microsoft website.

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