/Expertise/Sensor solutions for IoT/Secure system solutions and secure proximity services

Secure system solutions and secure proximity services

As small, low cost devices are becoming connected to the internet, they also have become the Achilles heel of internet security. These devices are often poorly secured. With this program, imec develops new, hardware-entangled lightweight security solutions for IoT end points as part of an end-to-end secure solution.

Secure proximity services on Bluetooth (BT) and ultra-wideband

In tomorrow's world, several applications will rely on secure location and proximity information. Some typical examples are:

  • contactless payment
  • keyless entry
  • commissioning
  • smart access control

In all these systems, you can rely on wireless technologies such as Bluetooth and ultra-wideband (UWB) to determine the proximity between two entities.

Relay attacks or relay station attacks (RSA) pose a serious security threat to these wireless systems. Here, an attacker attempts to decrease the measured proximity by relaying or manipulating the communications between two legitimate entities.

Secure distance bounding  protocol solutions allow a device to authenticate another device and securely determine its proximity. That effectively mitigates relay attacks.

Get in touch


  • secure proximity services for secure car access, secure keyless entry, passive entry passive start (PEPS) applications, smart access control and next-gen wireless payments
  • secure commissioning and maintenance for home and building automation (HABA), for instance the automatic installation of light switches and sensors
  • secure (indoor) positioning/localization, such as indoor navigation in buildings

Our solution

Building on world-class expertise in both the areas of ultra-low power IC design as IoT security, we develop lightweight secure solutions.

Our solution for secure distance bounding (SDB) with Bluetooth features 5x improved accuracy than state-of-the-art while remaining compliant with popular wireless standards. It is secure by design, and supports multi-factor authentication.

Other imec work in this area relates to low-cost device keys and other ULP secure solutions.

Work with us

Imec is ready to assist you in developing secure system solutions such as:

  • Bluetooth high-accuracy distance measurement / channel sounding (BT HADM /CS)
  • ultra-wideband (UWB) IEEE 802.15.4z for cm-scale positioning and ultra-secure transactions

Join one of our R&D programs to get access to our technology platforms and tune them to your own product requirements. Or enter into a bilateral collaboration with imec. Our in-house expertise will guide you through the entire development of your secure IoT system.

Get in touch


Request our whitepaper ‘Secure and Accurate Distance Bounding for Bluetooth Secure Access’.