Nordic Semiconductor today announces that SecuX Technology, Inc., a Taiwan-based blockchain security company, has specified Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘SecuX V20’, a hardware-based ‘wallet’ for protecting the private ‘keys’ and PIN codes users require to securely perform cryptocurrency transactions.
Cryptocurrency investors transact via an online exchange using private keys and PINs for security—stored in software-based wallets—that offer convenience but are susceptible to malicious attack. With the SecuX V20, a user’s keys are stored and isolated in the device’s ‘vault-grade’ CC EAL5+ (Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level) certified secure element chip. When the user wishes to perform a trade, the SecuX V20 can be paired to a Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone, tablet, or PC using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the nRF52840 SoC, or alternatively via USB cable.
Once connected to the host device, the web- (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS and Android) and iOS-based SecuX app enables the user to access the blockchain to send and receive crypto assets, as well as check their account balance. The device supports current major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and ERC-20 Tokens.
The SecuX V20 features a 2.8 inch color touchscreen display, enabling the user to not only check their account balance, but also receive visual confirmation that the device is correctly connected to the intended host smartphone, tablet, or PC, avoiding the possibility of a man-in-the-middle or malware attack. It employs a 600mAh Li-Poly battery, providing up to seven hours operation between recharge, thanks in part to the ultra low power capabilities of the nRF52840 SoC.
Nordic’s nRF52840 multiprotocol SoC is Nordic’s most advanced ultra low power wireless solution. The SoC supports complex Bluetooth LE and other low-power wireless applications that were previously not possible with a single-chip solution. The nRF52840 is Bluetooth 5-, Thread 1.1-, and Zigbee PRO (R21) and Green Power proxy specification-certified and its Dynamic Multiprotocol feature uniquely supports concurrent wireless connectivity of the protocols. The SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, Thread, Zigbee, IEEE 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) with 1MB Flash memory and 256kB RAM. A new radio architecture with on-chip PA provides features -95dBm RX sensitivity (at 1Mbps Bluetooth LE), a maximum output power of 8dBm, and a total link budget of 103dBm. The chip supports all the features of Bluetooth 5 (including 4x the range or 2x the raw data bandwidth (2Mbps)) compared with Bluetooth 4.2. The Nordic SoC incorporates an Arm TrustZone CryptoCell-310 cryptographic module and AES 128-bit hardware accelerator. These features support a wide range of asymmetric, symmetric, and hashing cryptographic services for secure applications, and significantly improve the encryption and decryption performance of the SecuX V20.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified software protocol stack for building long range and high data Bluetooth LE applications. The S140 SoftDevice offers concurrent Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports high throughput and long range modes as well as advertising extensions. OpenThread and Zigbee stacks are available through Nordic’s nRF5 SDK for Thread and Zigbee.
"We selected Nordic nRF52840 SoC for the capability of the Arm processor, and the large memory capacity which enables it to support more than 400 accounts for multiple cryptocurriences for heavy users," says James Huang, Marketing Director, SecuX Technology, Inc. "Furthermore, Nordic’s software development kit provided us with easy-to-use tools and many reference designs that helped us easily and rapidly develop the product."