First authentication for secure wireless charging

October 30, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
First authentication for secure wireless charging
Infineon's Optiga authentication chip has been adapted for secure wireless charging Qi systems up to 15W with an automotive version planned for 2021

Infineon Technologies has extended its authentication product family with a dedicated solution for secure inductive wireless charging.

The company says the Optiga Trust Charge chip is the industry’s first embedded security solution for the Qi 1.3 wireless charging standard. It addresses chargers for small personal electronic devices like smartphones, earbuds, tablets, wearables or health tech devices with a charging power of up to 15 W.

While wireless charging is convenient and hence increasingly in demand, an inaccurate power supply can be harmful to the handheld’s battery lifetime and, in the worst case, the user as well. Device authentication with Optiga Trust Charge helps to prevent damaging consumer devices with dangerous, fake chargers and protects consumer brands from reputation issues.

Infineon recommends at least EAL4+ certification on the hardware that stores keys and certificates. For that the protection profiles PP0035 and PP0084 could be used as part of the evaluation.

The Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) issues the Qi standard and tests and certifies devices accordingly. Over the last few years Qi growth has been steady with 465 million Qi devices shipped in 2019 and a year on year growth of 27 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. Although the majority is driven by smartphones, the number of wearables with inductive charging capability is growing continuously. Version 1.3 of the standard mandates strong cryptographic authentication for wireless charging devices. The wireless charger can authenticate itself to the charging device and prove that it is Qi 1.3 certified. Only then will the device be charged with maximum power.

Infineon’s Optiga Trust Charge is a turnkey solution with full system integration support including embedded software, host software, a development board, a reference board and documentation for fast and easy design in. Furthermore, Infineon is able to inject the certificates and keys mandated by WPC into the security chips at its secured production facilities. As such, security hardware prevents manufacturers from additional invest for security infrastructure.

The Optiga Trust Charge comes

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