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Some advanced features are optional, depending on whether or not they are supported on the target hardware platform.
Auto frame pending
IEEE 802.15.4 defines two kinds of data transmission methods between parent and child: direct transmission and indirect transmission. The latter is designed primarily for sleepy end devices (SEDs) which sleep most of the time, periodically waking to poll the parent for queued data.
Direct Transmission — parent sends a data frame directly to the end device
Indirect Transmission — parent holds data until requested by its intended end device
In the Indirect case, a child end device must first poll the parent to determine whether any data is available for it. To do this, the child sends a data request, which the parent acknowledges. The parent then determines whether it has any data for the child device; if so, it sends a data packet to the child device, which acknowledges receipt of the data.
If the radio supports dynamically setting the Frame Pending bit in outgoing acknowledgments to SEDs, the drivers must implement the source address match API to enable this capability. OpenThread uses this API to tell the radio which SEDs to set the Frame Pending bit for.
If the radio does not support dynamically setting the Frame Pending bit, the
radio might stub out the source address match API to return
Energy Scan/Detect with radio
The Energy Scan/Detect feature requires the radio chip to sample energy presenting on selected channels and return the detected energy value to the upper layer.
If this feature is not implemented, the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer sends/receives a Beacon Request/Response packet to evaluate the current energy value on the channel.
If the radio chip supports Energy Scan/Detect, make sure to disable software
energy scanning logic by setting the macro
OPENTHREAD_CONFIG_ENABLE_SOFTWARE_ENERGY_SCAN = 0.
Hardware acceleration for mbedTLS
mbedTLS defines several macros in the main configuration header file,
to allow users to enable alternative implementations of AES, SHA1, SHA2, and
other modules, as well as individual functions for the Elliptic curve
cryptography (ECC) over GF(p) module. See
mbedTLS hardware acceleration
for more information.
OpenThread does not enable those macros, therefore the symmetric crypto algorithms, hash algorithms and ECC functions all utilize software implementations by default. These implementations require considerable memory and computational resources. For optimal performance and a better user experience, we recommend enabling hardware acceleration instead of software to implement the above operations.
To enable hardware acceleration within OpenThread, the following mbedTLS
configuration header files should be added to the
definitions in the platform's CMake files:
- Main configuration, which defines all necessary macros used in OpenThread:
- User-specific configuration, which defines alternate implementations of
modules and functions:
target_compile_definitions(ot-config INTERFACE "MBEDTLS_USER_CONFIG_FILE=\"nrf52811-mbedtls-config.h\"" )
Commented macros in
mbedtls-config.h are not mandatory, and can be enabled in
the user-specific configuration header file for hardware acceleration.
For a complete example user-specific configuration, see the
OpenThread Security applies AES CCM (Counter with CBC-MAC) crypto to encrypt/decrypt the IEEE 802.15.4 or MLE messages and validates the message integration code. Hardware acceleration should at least support basic AES ECB (Electronic Codebook Book) mode for AES CCM basic functional call.
To utilize an alternative AES module implementation:
- Define the
MBEDTLS_AES_ALTmacro in the user-specific mbedTLS configuration header file
- Indicate the path of the
aes_alt.hfile using the
OpenThread Security applies HMAC and SHA256 hash algorithms to calculate the hash value for network key management and PSKc generation according to the Thread Specification.
To utilize an alternative basic SHA256 module implementation:
- Define the
MBEDTLS_SHA256_ALTmacro in the user-specific mbedTLS configuration header file
- Indicate the path of the
sha256_alt.hfile using the
Since mbedTLS currently only supports hardware acceleration for parts of ECC
functions, rather than the entire module, you can choose to implement some
functions defined in
path-to-mbedtls/library/ecp.c to accelerate ECC
Curve secp256r1 is used in the key exchange algorithm of the ECJPAKE draft. Hence, hardware acceleration should at least support the secp256r1 short weierstrass curve operation. See SiLabs CRYPTO Hardware Acceleration for mbedTLS for an example.