PIC MCU software library uses human body for secure communications link

-February 26, 2013

Microchip Technology has announced its BodyCom Development V1.0 Framework, enabling use of the human body as a secure communications link in Microchip 8-, 16-, and 32-bit PIC MCU-based designs. Activated by capacitively coupling to the human body, BodyCom provides secure bidirectional communications through the human body between a centralized controller and one or more wireless units for access control, personal security, medical, and consumer applications.

Figure. BodyCom uses the human body as a secure communications channel between base units and mobile units such as key fobs.

BodyCom allows engineers to lower system costs by eliminating the need for wireless transceivers, antennas, or even external crystals due to its low-frequency operation. According to Microchip, BodyCom also eliminates the cost and complexity of certification because it is complies with FCC Part 15-B for radiated emissions.

Key features and benefits:
  • Simpler Implementation
    • No RF antenna design necessary
    • Low-frequency design using common microcontroller and AFE frequencies (125 kHz / 8 MHz), no external crystals needed
    • Complies with FCC Part 15-B, Radiated Emissions
    • Lower overall BOM, compared to existing technologies
  • Lower Power Consumption
    • No wireless transceiver required for two-way communication
    • Not using high-power inductive fields
  • More Secure Communication Channel
    • Provides bidirectional authentication using the human body
    • Prevents the “Relay Attack” problem typical in PKE solutions
  • Supports Advanced Encryption Solutions
    • Such as KeeLoq Technology with AES-128

The BodyCom Development V1.0 Framework is free and available now. Microchip is also providing a BodyCom development kit for $149, available now.

Microchip also provides a video introduction to BodyCom below:

BodyCom information page

For more information, visit Microchip.

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