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Arm Mbed TLS makes it trivially easy for developers to include cryptographic and SSL/TLS capabilities in their (embedded) products, facilitating this functionality with a minimal code footprint. It offers an SSL/TLS library with an intuitive API and readable source code, and includes an elaborate test suite. You can build it out of the box on most systems, or manually select and configure features.

The Mbed TLS library provides a set of cryptographic components that you can use and compile separately, and include or exclude using a single configuration header file. Mbed TLS also provides a central SSL/TLS module that builds on the cryptographic components, the abstraction layers and the support components to provide a complete protocol implementation for SSL and TLS.

From a functional perspective, the library is split into three major parts:

  • The SSL/TLS protocol implementation.
  • A cryptographic library.
  • An X.509 Certificate handling library.

SSL/TLS client and server

Mbed TLS offers client-side and server-side support for all current SSL and TLS standards: SSL version 3 and TLS versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2. This of course includes support for most of the standardised protocol extensions, such as Server Name Indication (SNI), Session Tickets and Secure Renegotiation.

The Mbed TLS implementation supports the predominant key exchange methods and over 100 of the different standardised ciphersuites.


Cryptographic library

The cryptographic part of Mbed TLS has abstraction layers for Public Key cryptography, Hashing (Message Digests) and Symmetric Ciphers. It also contains standards-based random number generators and an entropy pool.

All cryptographic algorithms are implemented as loosely-coupled modules. You can just take the appropriate header files and source code files and drop them in your project as needed.


X.509 certificate handling

SSL/TLS authentication, and a few other protocols, need support for X.509 certificate handling. The X.509 certificate can convey an identity to other parties, but has to be checked for validity by the other party before use.

Mbed TLS includes support for:

  • X.509 certificate (CRT) parsing.
  • X.509 certificate revocation list (CRL) parsing.
  • X.509 (RSA/ECDSA) private key parsing.
  • X.509 certificate verification: checks whether a certificate's signature chain is rooted with a trusted certificate authority, and whether the certificate (or one of the intermediate CAs in its chain) is in the certificate revocation list of its issuing CA.

Additionally, it is possible to perform certain Certificate Authority actions to create certificates from scratch, like:

  • X.509 certificate (CRT) writing.
  • X.509 (RSA/ECDSA) private key writing.
  • X.509 certificate request (CSR) parsing.
  • X.509 certificate request (CSR) writing.


Find out more...

To find out more, including all licencing options and full product details, contact Trevor Martin on 024 7669 2066.

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