DeepCover Secure Microcontroller with USB and Hardware Cryptography

Small Footprint Cryptographic Microcontroller with Advanced Physical Security
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Active: In Production.


DeepCover® embedded security solutions cloak sensitive data under multiple layers of advanced physical security to provide the most secure key storage possible.
The DeepCover Secure Microcontroller (MAXQ1050) was designed for USB secure token and smart card reader applications that require certificate-based or other public key cryptographic schemes. The device also incorporates a sophisticated security mechanism to protect secret key data; two self-destruct inputs and environmental monitors (temperature and voltage sensors) erase secret key data when an attack condition is detected. The device has an integrated full-speed USB device interface (including transceiver), hardware SPI controller, and an ISO 7816 UART (universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter) for smart card communication. The device supports high-speed encryption with hardware accelerators for AES, RSA, DSA, ECDSA, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, DES, and 3DES. A true hardware random-number generator is included for key generation and challenge generation.

The device uses the 32-bit, pipelined, highly efficient MAXQ30 microcontroller core. It integrates 128KB flash memory, 12KB of volatile SRAM, 4KB of battery-backed erasable NV SRAM, and 256B of battery-backed, secure zeroization NV SRAM. An additional 1.5KB of volatile cryptographic memory can also be used as general-purpose data memory. The 256B of battery-backed NV SRAM can be used for key storage and other critical data. The 256B memory can be erased in less than 1µs using a single pulse ("rapid zeroization"), even in battery-backed mode.

The device is powered either from the USB bus or by a separate 3.3V voltage supply. A battery connection is provided for applications that want to maintain secret key data for years without draining the battery from application use. In battery-backed mode, the NV SRAM and security sensors consume less than 240nA (typ). Battery backup is optional; applications can choose to store critical data in the flash memory when the cost of the battery outweighs the benefits of constant monitoring for tamper conditions.

Data Sheet

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Errata MAXQ1050 MAXQ1050A3.pdf

Key Features

  • High-Performance, Low-Power, 32-Bit MAXQ30 RISC Core
  • Operates from USB Power or Single 3.3V Supply
  • Runs from 20MHz (typ) Internal Oscillator
  • Supports External 12/24MHz Crystal Oscillator for Microcontroller and USB Operation
  • On-Chip 2x/4x Clock Multiplier
  • 16-Bit Instruction Word, 32-Bit Internal Data Bus
  • 16 x 32-Bit Accumulators
  • 16 x 32-Bit General-Purpose Working Registers
  • Up to 20 General-Purpose I/O Pins
  • 5V Tolerant I/O
  • Virtually Unlimited Software Stack
  • Optimized for C-Compiler (High-Speed/Density Code)
  • Memory
    • 128KB Flash Memory, 512 x 32 Page Size
    • Flash Memory Supports 20k Erase/Write Cycles per Sector
    • 256B of Secure NV SRAM
    • 4KB Battery-Backed NV SRAM
    • 12KB SRAM
    • Secure JTAG/TAP for In-System Programming and On-Chip Debugger Access
  • Security
    • Unique 64-Bit Serial Number
    • Tamper Detection with Rapid Key/Data Destruction
    • Secret Key Destruction on Tamper Events
    • Permanent Loader Lockout Option
    • Proprietary Code Scrambling Technique Using Random Keys
    • Hardware Accelerators for AES, RSA, DSA, ECDSA, DES, 3DES, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256
    • True Hardware Random-Number Generator
    • Temperature and Voltage Sensors to Detect Attacks
    • Two Self-Destruct Input Pins
  • Additional Peripherals
    • Power-Fail Warning
    • Power-On-Reset/Brownout Reset
    • Full-Speed USB Device with Six Endpoint Buffers and Integrated Transceiver
    • ISO 7816 Smart Card UART with FIFO
    • 16-Bit Programmable Timers/Counters with Prescaler, Capture/Compare, and PWM
    • SPI Master/Slave Hardware
    • Programmable Watchdog Timer
    • Up to 20 General-Purpose I/O Pins with Eight External Interrupts


  • Certificate Management
  • e-Commerce
  • Electronic Signature Generation
  • Pay-per-Play
  • Prepaid Utility
  • Secure Access Control
  • Security and Banking Tokens
  • Smart Grid Security

Key Specifications:

Part Number MCU Core Core Clock Speed
Data Processing Internal Flash
Internal SRAM
USARTs SPI Bus USB GPIO Pins PWM Timer Features
max max
MAXQ1050  MAXQ30 (RISC) 24 32-bit 128 12 1 1 Device Including Transceiver 20 2
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Pricing Notes:

This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.

More Information

New Product Press Release   2011-10-04 ]

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Document Ref.: 19-5822 Rev 3; 2013-01-30
This page last modified: 2013-04-09