Freescale Semiconductor and Inside Secure have announced a secure prepaid utility meter reference design with Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity that OEMs can use to quickly and cost-effectively bring to market electricity meter products.
The reference design, based on the Freescale Kinetis MK30 microcontroller provides the first NFC-based, prepaid meter with the ability to securely reload energy credit balances. Secure prepaid meters based on this reference design are protected from fraud because they employ a VaultIC security module and NFC technology to safely load energy credits from a smart card or an NFC-enabled phone.
"In many parts of the world, prepaid electricity meters offer the best solution for controlling energy distribution, but providing adequate security to prevent fraud has always presented challenges," said Christian Fleutelot, general manager of the Vault-IC SAS business unit and executive vice president for digital security at Inside Secure. "Through our collaboration with Freescale, we have been able to combine our leading security and connectivity solutions to protect prepaid meters, while providing a more convenient way to load energy credits and deliver valuable usage information to utilities."
The reference design features Inside Secure's VaultIC 460 and NFC (MicroRead 3.4) chipset. The VaultIC 460 security module provides comprehensive security functions such as mutual authentication, verification and generation of certificates, encryption/decryption and managing secure storage of cryptographic keys. It is FIPS 140-2 level three ready.
NFC connectivity is implemented using the MicroRead controller and Open NFC protocol stack. The system is powered by the Freescale MK30X256 32-bit MCU (built on the ARM Cortex-M4 core), which operates up to 100 MHz with 1.25 DMIPS/MHz. The firmware is based on Freescale's MQX real-time operating system. The built-in segment LCD controller displays all standard metering values at the push of a button.
Visit Freescale at http://www.freescale.com.
Visit INSIDE Secure at http://www.insidesecure.com.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.