Photo source:

Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, announced the start of a beta program based on its Renesas Synergy Platform that provides heightened security capabilities to OEMs who build devices connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT). The Synergy Platform Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) solution consists of Synergy Security Microcontrollers (MCUs) plus the associated Synergy Software and tools enabling OEMs to better protect their software IP from theft and cloning during manufacture, to inhibit counterfeit products, and to ensure authenticity when deploying secure remote firmware updates to end-products already in the field that use Synergy MCUs. Secure lifecycle management is the foundation to maintaining the integrity of end-products.

Security is a major concern for many OEMs who are building connected IoT devices with risks that span across product disruption, system hijacking, eavesdropping, and product cloning. Not only do improperly secured IoT devices have the potential to expose private information to unauthorized parties, but they can also be exploited to shut down or damage vital industrial infrastructure. Due to rapidly evolving threats, the protection mechanisms for security attacks at the time of end-product shipment may become out-of-date, which means that end-products in customer’s hands should be updated with newer protection mechanisms over the product’s lifetime. OEMs are also concerned with competitors gaining unauthorized access to software and other IP that reside on the OEM’s devices, which can then be cloned and used on other devices without the OEM’s authorization.

The Synergy Platform DLM solution will include several components and features to protect connected IoT devices that are built upon the Synergy Platform including:

  • Synergy Security MCUs – Pre-programmed MCUs from Renesas to establish a Root-of-Trust that uniquely personalizes each device.
  • Updated Synergy Software Package (SSP) – Software drivers, APIs, and middleware from Renesas to enable Synergy Security MCUs at the device level.
  • Example tools from Renesas to manage, deploy, and program encrypted firmware files securely into Synergy Security MCU device in two scenarios – (1) A manufacturing environment of an end-product that also includes options for provisioning and for limiting the number of MCU devices that are programmed. (2) A remote firmware update of deployed end-products.
  • A development kit to host a Synergy Security MCU device to simulate and evaluate the secure manufacturing and remote update scenarios.

These components and features of the Synergy Platform DLM solution afford OEMs the freedom to select from a much wider pool of contract manufacturers (CM) because the OEMs’ IP is protected during the entire distribution and flash memory programming process. OEMs ability to limit and monitor the number of Synergy MCU devices programmed at a CM site is a powerful mechanism to prevent product cloning and un-authorized over-production. OEMs can leverage the commonality of Synergy Platform DLM solutions between the manufacturing and deployment portions for maximum re-use of technology and resources.

“Lifecycle management is vital to an OEM’s ability to maintain the security and integrity of their products from production, to shipment, to deployment and ultimately to their discontinuation,” said Peter Carbone, Vice President with the IoT Business Unit, Renesas Electronics America. “OEMs face massive liability exposure when the integrity of their products is compromised. They also face loss of revenue, market share, and reputation when their products are cloned. Maintaining an IoT device’s security is difficult as the technologies used to hack embedded systems continue to evolve, even long after a product has shipped. We are initiating the Synergy Platform DLM solution to help our customers keep their IP secure both now and during the device’s future use in the field.”

The Synergy Platform DLM solution will be offered in beta form to select customers starting April 2016 as a technology demonstrator for their evaluation based on their needs for DLM infrastructure. Renesas plans to release the first group of Synergy Security MCUs with all the other components supporting DLM in the Synergy Platform as a standard product in Q1, CY2017.

To learn more about the Renesas Synergy Platform, please visit