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Raspberry Pi security add-on helps evaluate Connected Home over IP spec

Nov 4, 2020 — by Eric Brown 12,924 views

Infineon’s “Optiga Trust-M eval kit” is a Pi add-on for evaluating the ZigBee Alliance’s Connected Home over IP home automation standard. The eval kit is built around a Trust-M Shield2Go board equipped with the EAL6+-compliant Trust-M security chip.

Infineon Technologies, which is primarily known in these pages for its widely used Optiga TPM security chips, has announced a Raspberry Pi add-on equipped with a different security technology called Optiga Trust. Specifically it integrates an Optiga Trust-M Shield2Go board equipped with its Optiga Trust-M security chip, which complies with the Common Criteria Certified EAL6+ (high) spec. Although the Optiga Trust-M eval kit can be used to evaluate the Trust-M technology, which provides anchor of trust security technology for connecting IoT devices to the cloud, it’s primary purpose is to evaluate the ZigBee Alliance’s Connected Home over IP automation standard.

Optiga Trust-M eval kit with Pi (left) and Optiga Trust-M Shield2Go on its own
(click images to enlarge)

When the ZigBee Alliance announced the Connected Home over IP consortium last December as a ZigBee working group, it appeared to have more going for it than the many other IoT standards groups that have popped up over the last decade. For starters, the group proposed to build an open source protocol to standardize home automation networks using a variety of IP-based technologies including WiFi, Thread, and Bluetooth, and possibly Ethernet, cellular, and broadband.

It also helped that the group boasted the participation of Amazon, Apple, Google, and other home automation heavy hitters. Even ZigBee rival Silicon Labs joined in conjunction with an announcement that it would relaunch its Z-Wave spec with a more open framework.


In an update post this summer, Connected Home over IP claimed to have made good progress on its initial WiFi 6 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax) spec, which it plans to release in draft form later this year. The group now has 145 active member companies, including ASSA ABLOY, Resideo, STMicroelectronics, and Tuya, which have joined the Zigbee Alliance’s Board of Directors. Other founding members include IKEA, Legrand, NXP, Resideo, Samsung SmartThings, Schneider Electric, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Somfy, and Wulian.

Connected Home over IP architecture (left) and diagram showing Optiga Trust-M communications with host
(click images to enlarge)

Infineon, a Connected Home member, is offering the Optiga Trust-M eval kit as an evaluation platform for Connected Home over IP, especially regarding security. Infineon has some experience with the Pi in the form of a MERUS audio amplifier HAT it announced in May, which uses its MERUS MA12070P amp.

The Optiga Trust-M eval kit is designed to test WiFi and Bluetooth connections over a secure connection. The kit provides security features including X.509 certificates, device authentication, ECC-256-384 and RSA 2048, key management, secured data storage, and encrypted I2C links between host and Optiga Trust M. The Optiga Trust M Shield2Go with the Optiga Trust-M chip provides the EAL6+ controller along with a shielded I2C interface for encrypted communications.

Cryptographic support includes ECC NIST P256/P384, SHA-256, TRNG, DRNG, and RSA 1024/2048. The board can hibernate “for zero power consumption,” says Infineon. An adapter is provided for the Raspberry Pi.

The Optiga Trust-M eval kit joins other Trust-M kits including an Optiga Trust M Development Kit. This earlier kit includes a XMC1400 2Go microcontroller board and an Inventek WiFi/BLE module. The product can interface with boards including the Infineon Shield2Go, MikroElektronika Click, and Adafruit’s Feather Wing.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Optiga Trust-M eval kit. We saw the product announced on EENew Embedded Europe. More information may be found on Infineon’s product page.

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