Avnet advances IoT security with Azure Sphere Starter Kit

Security is the biggest challenge to developers bringing new IoT endpoint devices to market. To meet this need, Avnet introduced the Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit, which supports prototyping of IoT implementations using Microsoft’s Azure Sphere, an end-to-end solution for creating secured, connected Microcontroller (MCU) devices.

The Starter Kit leverages the Avnet-developed Azure Sphere module that is based on the MT3620 reference development board. The production-ready module is the fastest and easiest way to equip IoT endpoint devices to be secure, ensuring that developers can move from prototype to production.

Last spring, Microsoft named Avnet as a strategic partner for Azure Sphere and the first to distribute the solution. Today’s introduction of the Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit further helps developers accelerate their IoT deployments while also addressing security holistically, from the silicon layer to the cloud. The kit is ideal for creating secured IoT edge devices, such as consumer appliances, as well as smart retail, remote access, building and factory automation applications.

In a recent survey of the Hackster.io and element14 engineering communities, Avnet found that developers believe security remains the biggest technological hurdle in IoT deployment (81 percent).

“Security is critical to continued growth within the connected devices market,” said Jim Beneke, vice president, engineering and technology, Avnet. “Microsoft has delivered significant advancements in connected security with Azure Sphere. Our new starter kit builds on that by offering an easy way for customers to accelerate prototyping, proof-of-concept development and time to market of their Azure Sphere powered devices, while providing confidence in the security of their solutions.”

The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit includes a small form factor carrier board supporting Avnet’s production ready Azure Sphere MT3620 module with WiFi connectivity. Multiple expansion interfaces provide developers with easy integration of sensors, displays, motors, relays and more. The downloadable “getting started” tutorial guides developers through the development steps from board setup to application coding.

“Avnet is pushing to accelerate the adoption of secure, connected MCU solutions with Azure Sphere,” said Rodney Clark, vice president IoT, Microsoft. “The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit provides developers with the components, tools and resources they need to efficiently build and bring a wide variety of innovative and highly secured MCU devices and solutions to market.”

Technical specifications

Carrier board features include:

  • Two MikroE Click Board expansion sockets,
  • Grove expansion connector (I2C),
  • On-board sensors,
    • 3-Axis accelerometer,
    • 3-Axis gyro,
    • Temperature,
    • Pressure/Barometric
  • Interface for optional OLED 128×64 display,
  • USB Interface,
    • Supports debug, service and recovery UARTs, and JTAG,
  • User push switches and LEDs,
  • 5V to 3.3V Power regulation,
  • DC Supply Input:
    • USB 5V from host computer,
    • Terminal foot prints for external 5VDC and VBAT supplies.

Azure Sphere MT3620 Module features include:

  • MediaTek MT3620AN SoC,
  • 3x ISU interfaces pre-configured for UART, SPI, I2C,
  • ADC/GPIO: 3x 12-bit ADC inputs (or 3 GPIOs),
  • PWM/GPIO: 9x PWM outputs (or up to 24 GPIOs),
  • RTC (requires VBAT supply),
  • Dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi,
  • Dual-band 2.4/5GHz chip antenna,
  • Production-ready.
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