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    Zymbit engineers use Altium technology to build state-of-the-art security modules that deliver both cyber and physical security to IoT devices.

    ZYMBIT: STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE WITH MODULAR SECURITY SOLUTIONS

    The IoT (Internet of Things) is growing rapidly and showing no signs of slowing down. Near future projections place it at 50 billion devices strong, which means we have some serious work ahead of us if we want to keep this train on track.  

    We know the ways of today won’t last, and tomorrow is fast approaching. How we design, manufacture, and manage our devices will require some serious adaptation in order to keep up with that trend. As our technology continues to grow and adapt there’s one very important thing we must keep in mind, security.

    Our ability to keep our current and future devices secure is crucial not only to our technology but to our world. The economy, our national security, political environments, and personal data can all be at risk and that risk will only grow larger if left unattended. This problem is one Zymbit (the company behind next-generation IoT security devices) understands better than most.

    “As the Internet of Things builds out, a lot of people are focused on the data and analyzing that data,” said Phil Strong, CEO & Hardware Designer for Zymbit. “With the fast pace of the Internet of Things, often security gets left to the very last minute. That’s where Zymbit comes in.”

    ZYMBIT: LOCKING DOWN THE IOT ONE DEVICE AT A TIME

    The unfortunate truth is that security is often the last thing software developers deal with before deploying pilot systems in the field. At that stage, chip-level crypto authentication solutions are painful to integrate and in most cases, impossible without wiping the slate clean and going through a complete redesign.

    Zymbit caught on to this early and set out to create an answer. Their task was to design and build a security module that both software and hardware developers could easily integrate into their design cycles. What they developed was a module that works with single board computers and software services alike. A security measure that can deliver complete cyber and physical security of intellectual property, data, and credentials all in one small package.

    FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION IN 1….2…..DONE

    The speed at which an idea can turn into reality is a large factor in the success of any business. For Zymbit, this was no different. Once they had the idea behind their devices, they needed to bring them to life and fast. The tools they would need had to be easy to integrate, streamlined, and effective. They found all that and more with Altium CircuitStudio®.

    A key feature of the Zymbit module is it’s resistance to physical tampering, a countermeasure that’s often overlooked.  “A lot of people aren’t thinking about physical security and tamper detection, but it’s absolutely essential,” said Scott Miller, Head of Sales for Zymbit. To achieve this they used specific packaging with very detailed features and tight tolerances. With CircuitStudio, the Zymbit team was able to easily export components as .STEP files. This greatly improved the information exchange between their designers and the mechanical engineers who would model their assemblies in 3D and create their custom components.

    Ultimately, the entire design and manufacturing process Zymbit went through was simplified by the intuitive mechanical integrations found within CircuitStudio. So much so, that their engineers were able to create functioning first pass prototypes of their security devices in less than six weeks time. “Most of our customers are big enterprises, big corporations, and they expect a certain level of design integration with their contract manufacturers and their designers. So it’s important that we have professional tools and professional products that’ll plug right into their toolchains,” said Phil Strong.

    LOOKING FORWARD AT A FUTURE UNKNOWN

    Ignore what you thought you knew about the manufacturing of technology. Mobile phones, computers, tablets —  these are devices specifically designed for extremely high volumes of production. When it comes to the IoT, we start to enter uncharted territory, where true creation happens.

    The structure supporting the IoT is built upon a constantly evolving connection of devices, each serving a unique purpose. Conceptualizing these devices and attempting to understand what they will look like even a few months from now is a difficult task let alone a few years. Now take into account the amount of design time and testing that will need to take place before these devices are truly ready for manufacturing and integration into the world. This task ahead of us will not be easy, but fortunately for us, companies like Zymbit are at the forefront leading the charge. As the IoT continues to evolve so will they and the devices they build using Altium tools will lead us into a safer, more secure tomorrow.

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