Chip secures Qi-certified wireless chargers

June 22, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Chip secures Qi-certified wireless chargers
 The STSAFE secure chips are loaded with Qi charger certificates and secure keys at ST secure factories

STMicroelectronics has developed a chip and process to protect small devices, wearables and mobile phones using wireless Qi charging.

Now that furniture has built-in charging pads and there is easy charging in hospitality locations such as cafes and restaurants, chargers must be properly designed to protect consumers’ products, particularly in high-power, fast-charging modes.

The STSAFE chip is loaded with official Qi Certificates and provide authentication that leverages state-of-the-art cryptography. The solutions clearly identify the charger and strictly attest to its authenticity as a Qi-certified product.

The chip consists of a secure operating system executed on a secure microcontroller. This offers authentication based on ECDSA asymmetric cryptography and X509 certificates containing a unique serial number. For Qi authentication, they are preloaded with the appropriate cryptographic key and the official Qi Certificate corresponding to the customer’s Qi charger.

Each die has a unique serial number, as well as monitoring of environmental parameters, a protection mechanism against faults and protection against side-channel attacks.

“ST is helping wireless charging thrive by providing a secure way to authenticate genuine Qi-certified chargers before increasing the charge at any power level over five Watts,” said Laurent Degauque, Marketing Director, Secure Microcontroller Division, STMicroelectronics. “Our solutions compliant with WPC-Qi specification V1.3 are based on ST secure elements certified Common Criteria EAL5+ and AEC-Q100 for automotive.”

As an official Manufacturer Certification Authority Service Provider, ST has the authority to compute and to sign the official Qi Charger certificate that contains both the charger Qi-ID and maker reference. The STSAFE-A110, and the automotive version the STSAFE-V110, are loaded at a secure ST factory, creating a ready-to-use solution that relieves the charger makers from the burden of loading the sensitive data securely.

For consumer markets, STSAFE-A110 is available in 4mm x 5mm SO8N or 2mm x 3mm UFDFPN8 packages. For the automotive market, STSAFE-V110 is available in TSSOP20 package.

To kickstart development, the X-NUCLEO-SAFEA1A expansion board for STM32 Nucleo boards contains an STSAFE-A110 IC ready to use with the X-CUBE-SAFEA1 software package and X-CUBE-SBSFU secure boot and software update expansion package.

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