7 Years of Nitrokey And The Future

To mark our 7th birthday, we recap the past year and offer a look ahead to the next 12 months.

Sailing Through the Pandemic

Like most businesses, we were hit by the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. Fortunately, our sales have not been affected and have continued to grow (more on that later). However, the supply situation of needed electronics and equipment has drastically worsened.

We have addressed this situation by continuing to grow our product portfolio and thus reducing our dependence on individual components. We have been able to greatly expand our portfolio and have released eight (!) new products in the last 12 months: NitroPad T430, NitroPC, NextBox, NitroPhone 1 / 2 / 2 Pro and Nitrokey 3A / 3C NFC.

In this electronics shortage situation, it has proven advantageous that we rely on robust and popular ThinkPad hardware for the NitroPad, which is still readily available as used goods. However, we had to pause developments on a new NitroPad model due to the supply situation.

We also released the new Nitrokey 3 and shipped it to the first pre-order customers. The electronics shortage has led to us not being able to produce any new devices at the moment. We have therefore decided on a strategy of developing the Nitrokey 3 for multiple chips (currently LPC55S and nRF52) in order to reduce our dependence on individual chip producers. Here, our new firmware developed in RUST and based on the Trussed framework proves to be advantageous, as the hardware-dependent part is isolated in a hardware abstraction layer, allowing good porting to other chips. Nevertheless, the development effort is not insignificant and costs us a lot of time and effort. Firmware porting to the new chip (nRF52) is progressing well and we plan to resume hardware production shortly. This work could not have been financed without our loyal customers who have continued to have faith in us even after repeated delays. Thanks to all Nitrokey 3 customers for your patience!

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