SparkFun Cryptographic Co-Processor Breakout - ATECC608A (Qwiic)

🛇 Product Restrictions: To access certain features of the ATECC608A, users will need to contact Microchip and sign an NDA contract to obtain the complete datasheet. Due to the required NDA - technical support, an Arduino library, and hookup guide are not provided for users on this product.

The SparkFun ATECC608A Cryptographic Co-processor Breakout allows you to add strong security to your IoT node, edge device, or embedded system. This includes asymmetric authentication, symmetric AES-128 encryption/decryption, and much more. As stated above, the ATECC608A has limited Arduino support and the complete datasheet is under NDA with Microchip.

This breakout board includes two Qwiic ports for plug and play functionality. Utilizing our handy Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard. The ATECC608A chip is capable of many cryptographic processes, including, but not limited to:

  • Creating and securely storing unique asymmetric key pairs based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography (FIPS186-3).
  • AES-128: Encrypt/Decrypt, Galois Field Multiply for GCM
  • Creating and verifying 64-byte digital signatures (from 32-bytes of message data).
  • Creating a shared secret key on a public channel via Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman Algorithm.
  • SHA-256 & HMAC Hash including off-chip context save/restore
  • Internal high quality FIPS random number generator.

Embedded in the chip is a 10Kb EEPROM array that can be used for storing keys, certificates, data, consumption logging, and security configurations. Access to the sections of memory can then be restricted and the configuration locked to prevent changes. Each ATECC608A Breakout ships with a guaranteed unique 72-bit serial number and includes several security features to prevent physical attacks on the device itself, or logical attacks on the data transmitted between the device.

A summary datasheet for the ATECC608A is available here. The full datasheet is under NDA with Microchip. You will need to contact them for access to the entire datasheet. Meanwhile, the ArduinoATECCX08 Library currently only supports the ATECC608A with SAMD21 Arduino boards.

We do have much more support for the ATECC508A version of this chip. Please check out our ATECC508A Hookup Guide and Arduino Library (which includes six examples). This will get you familiar with the basics of elliptic curve cryptography and signing/verifying data with the ATECC508A version of the chip.

Note: The I2C address of the ATECC608A is 0x60 and is software-configurable to any address. A multiplexer/Mux is required to communicate to multiple ATECC608A sensors at the default address when on a single bus. If you need to use more than one ATECC608A sensor at the default address, consider using the Qwiic Mux Breakout.

🔒 Note: The ATECC608A can be only configured once before it is PERMANENTLY locked. It is advisable that users purchase multiple boards in order to use other configurations and explore the advanced functions of the ATECC608A.

Additionally, this board IS capable of encrypting and decrypting data. However, to access these additional features, you will need to contact Microchip and sign an NDA contract to obtain the complete datasheet.

It is recommended that an SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board is used with this product due to the buffer size required on the I2C bus.

The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.

  • Operating Voltage: 2.0V-5.5V (Default on Qwiic System: 3.3V)
  • Active Current Draw (for ATECC608A): 16 mA
  • Sleep Current (for ATECC608A): <150 nA
  • Guaranteed Unique 72-bit Serial Number
  • 10 Kb EEPROM Memory for Keys, Certificates, and Data
    • Storage for up to 16 Keys
    • 256-bit Key Length
  • Internal High-Quality FIPS Random Number Generator (RNG)
  • Configurable I2C Address (7-bit): 0x60 (Default)

Note: The datasheet listed on this page is not the complete document, which is under NDA with Microchip.

SparkFun Cryptographic Co-Processor Breakout - ATECC608A (Qwiic) Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

5 Programming

Skill Level: Expert - You should be extremely comfortable programming on various hardware in several languages.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #1591936 / about 3 years ago / 1

    Would Sparkfun consider making a version of this board with the ATECC608B-TNGTLS version of the chip? That version already has certificates that work “out of the box” for AWS and GCP IoT and that would be super-duper handy for me to just slap this chip on, upload the public key to IoT Core, and securely send data!

  • Member #517719 / about 3 years ago / 1

    Does anyone know how one goes about getting in contact with Microchip to sign the NDA? What are the chances they'll go thru that effort for a hobbyist?

    • joostd / about 3 years ago / 2

      I have tried, but without success. I believe that NDA is a form of security theatre.

      The good news is that for my purposes, the atecc508a datasheet suffices as the differences with the atecc608a are small. Also check out that shows how to use the chip for use cases not implemented in the arduino library.

    • jwshields / about 3 years ago / 1

      I found that if you go to your favorite search engine and type "atecc508a full (complete) datasheet" with quotes, a link to a PDF hosted on a certain Git platform may or may not appear in the results.

      • Member #517719 / about 3 years ago * / 1

        Heh, yeah thanks - even works for a 608a too! I did come across that previously but it was a 'preliminary' one from 2018 - not that it matters I suppose. It's got a wealth of information.

        Although, it really seems SFE is really hiking the prices on their stuff lately.

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