How to generate public and private keys using Simplicity Studio Commander

To generate public keys, perform signing operations for development purposes to evaluate or test secure boot or secure updates please use the command below, the ECDSA-P256 keys will be stored on your PC:

commander gbl keygen –-type ecc-p256 –-outfile signing-key

The following describes three different files that were generated by the command above:

  • signing-key-tokens.txt - file is used by commander to program devices during manufacturing. The tokens are generated from the specific private keys, so there is no issue with outsiders using these public tokens to generate malware. However, these tokens are used by the chip to validate signed images for Second Stage BootloaderApploader and Application firmware images received in the future. The key tokens come in an X,Y pair.
  • signing-key - file is in a Privacy Enhanced Mail (PEM) format. This is common for certificates in Web servers and was used for storing the private keys. This cannot be discovered by other users. If others gain access to the private key, they could generate images that the device would validate using the public keys generated by this private key. The private key should be securely stored.
  • signing-key.pub - file contains the public key that can be used to verify that the GBL files were generated by the correct private key. If you were to verify the OTA upgrade on another platform, like a gateway or smartphone app, they would likely consume this PEM-encoded public key file.

Note: Hardware Security Module (HSM) is recommended for key generation in production environment, storage, and image signing. HSM provides with strong protection of sensitive data. According to the instructions from the HSM vendor, have it generate an ECDSA-P256 key pair and export the public key in PEM format to the file signing-key.pub. Then use Simplicity Studio commander to convert the key to token format, suitable for writing to the EFR32BG22 device using the following command:

commander gbl keyconvert --type ecc-p256 signing-key.pub --outfile signing-key-tokens.txt

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