Microsoft was at the IoT Solutions World Congress today and announced the launch schedule for Azure Sphere microcontroller (MCU). According to the company, the solution will be available with its associated cloud security service from February 2020.

You may remember Microsoft rolled out its first Azure Sphere chip (the MediaTek MT3620) in October last year. Called Pluton, the system features a custom Linux kernel and secured containers for apps.

With this secure boot system, Sphere users have additional firmware and hardware protection. Azure Sphere answers an important question: in an environment of connected devices, how can security be maintained? Cars, household appliances, locks, toys, consumer electronics, lights, and more all run on microcontrollers (MCUs) and all are becoming increasingly connected.

Pluton gives Azure Sphere a secure communication link to the cloud platform’s backend. Furthermore, users can leverage management for Wi-Fi hardware for protecting IoT applications.

Qualcomm and Sphere

In October, Sphere certified its first Qualcomm LTE chips. At the time, Microsoft emphasized how security is a fundamental part of making IoT a viable technology.

“For IoT innovations to be reliable, they must be built on a foundation of security. Qualcomm Technologies will allow partners to innovate with the assurance that their products, customers, and brands are secured,” explained Galen Hunt, distinguished engineer, and managing director, Microsoft Azure Sphere.

“The new IoT chipset will light up a broad set of new scenarios at the outer edge—even the most resource-constrained ones. Together with the silicon innovation and cellular and embedded security expertise, Qualcomm Technologies brings, our partners will have the freedom to securely connect devices anytime, anywhere.”