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Arm TrustZone Technology

Arm TrustZone technology offers an efficient, system-wide approach to security with hardware-enforced isolation built into the CPU. It provides the perfect starting point for establishing a device root of trust based on Platform Security Architecture (PSA) guidelines.

The family of TrustZone technologies can be integrated into any Arm Cortex-A processor or processor based on the Armv7-A and Armv8-A architecture, and Cortex-M processors built on the Armv8-M architecture.

TrustZone for Cortex-A

TrustZone is used on billions of application processors to protect high-value code and data for diverse use cases including authentication, payment, content protection and enterprise. On application processors, TrustZone is frequently used to provide a security boundary for a GlobalPlatform Trusted Execution Environment.

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TrustZone for Cortex-M

The Armv8-M architecture extends TrustZone to Cortex-M, enabling robust levels of protection. TrustZone for Armv8-M has the same high-level features as TrustZone on application processors, with the key benefit that switching between Secure and Non-secure worlds is done in hardware for faster transitions and improved power efficiency.

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TrustZone for Armv8-A vs. TrustZone for Armv8-M

Feature/Architecture TrustZone for Armv8-A TrustZone for Armv8-M 
Additional security states SEL0 - Trusted Apps SEL1 - Trusted OS EL3 - Trusted Boot and Firmware (Armv8-A) Secure thread - Trusted code/data Secure handler - Trusted device drivers, RTOS, Library managers...
Secure interrupts Yes Yes (Fast) 
State transition (Boundary crossing) Software transition Hardware transition (Fast) 
Memory management Virtual memory MMU with secure attributes Secure Attribution Unit (SAU) and MPU memory partitions
System interconnect security Yes Yes
Secure code, data and memory Yes Yes
Trusted boot  Yes Yes
Software Trusted Firmware-A (and third-party TEEs) Arm Keil MDK, CMSIS, Arm Mbed OS, Trusted Firmware-M and third-party software

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