Choose the Right Solutions for the System on Chip (SoC) of Your Next IoT Device

Developers of IoT applications must consider confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data to help establish trust from both the user and service provider. This trust requires security and identity in the endpoint device, along with low-power, scalable compute and connectivity to the cloud.

Arm IoT solutions accelerate time-to-security for SoC designers, device makers and developers by building on the principles of Platform Security Architecture, and providing the powerful toolboxes they need to build their next system.

Arm and the Arm ecosystem are powering the new generation of IoT devices and are uniquely placed to help designers to build the right SoC, no matter what class of device they are building.

Three Main Classes of IoT

Rich IoT Nodes & Gateways
  • Rich nodes that need high levels of data processing, including machine learning at the edge
  • Autonomous context-based decision making
  • Gateway function to securely connect local devices to the cloud

Example applications: smart-home gateway, industrial gateway, high-end wearables, surveillance cameras

Mainstream IoT Devices
  • Embedded connected device balancing performance and cost
  • Applications that need to process data or offer audio processing capabilities with entry-level machine learning
  • High-power efficiency

Example applications: Smart home, smart metering, asset monitoring, basic wearables.

Constrained IoT Devices
  • Usually ultra-low-cost such as simple sensors or beacons
  • Connect to gateway or direct to cloud
  • Often battery powered in remote locations

Example applications: environment monitors, smart lighting, low-cost asset tracking, retail beacons.

SoC Considerations
Support for Layered Security

The security threat and the counter-measures needed, vary on the application and the value of the assets. Arm has a mix of security solutions to help you ensure a trusted connection to your data. Arm recommend that security is applied to devices in layers to provide protection from multiple types of attacks.

  • Arm Platform Security Architecture (PSA) provides a foundation for all connected devices. It helps developers to define a consistent level of security, by providing principles and deliverables, including architecture specifications, example threat models, and open source firmware (TF-M).
  • Arm TrustZone technology isolates software, memory and peripherals to protect against software attacks. Arm TrustZone is supported by the Arm Cortex-A processors and also the latest Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 processors, using Armv8-M.
  • Arm Security IP includes the Arm CryptoIsland and Arm CryptoCell families supporting Roots of Trust (RoT), security services, lifecycle management, key management and cryptographic acceleration.


Support for Layered Security

Getting Started: Arm System Design Kits

If you’re looking for a starting point for your next design, Arm has a range of highly effective solutions. Arm created the Arm System Design Kits (SDKs) to provide a complete toolbox for SoC designers. Arm SDKs help you get your system to market even faster, with pre-verified modifiable subsystems, which pre-integrate the processor and foundation system components. These systems can be extended to add connectivity with solutions such as Arm Cordio radios.

Depending on the class of system you’re building, Arm has an IoT SoC solution to match. The table below maps the System Design Kits to the relevant IoT device class.

 IoT Device Class

Products   Rich node and gateway



Arm Cortex-A processor

Arm Cortex-M processor   √  √  √

Arm SDK-700 System Design Kit

Cortex-A host
Cortex-M units

Arm SDK-200 System Design Kit   Cortex-M33 based Cortex-M23 based
Arm SDK-100 System Design Kit   Cortex-M3 based Cortex-M0 based