A secure microcontroller chip has:
- An 8-bit to 32-bit central processing unit (CPU);
- Read Only Memory (ROM) or flash memory that contains the chip's operating system and, optionally, application software;
- Random Access Memory (RAM) that serves as a temporary register for data;
- Other non-volatile memory that is used for storage of user data (e.g., Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM), ferroelectric RAM, flash memory);
- Features that integrate countermeasures against known and foreseen security threats to achieve Common Criteria or FIPS 140-2 certification;
- Environmental sensors (e.g., voltage, frequency, temperature);
- At least one serial communication port;
- A random number generator;
- Optional cryptography engine(s) (e.g., providing support for DES, 3DES, RSA, ECC);
- Optional other dedicated peripherals (e.g., checksum accelerator, Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) communication port).
- ↑ Government Smart Card Handbook, at 18, §2.1.3.