Cost-effective solution employs NFC in meter and smartphone for secure, easy reading and payment
AMSTERDAM--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) and INSIDE Secure are demonstrating a new secure postpaid electricity meter with near field communication (NFC) connectivity in booth D06 at the Metering Europe trade show in Amsterdam. The demonstrator shows how easily an electricity consumer can use an NFC-enabled smartphone or other NFC device to read the meter and securely transmit usage information to the utility company for payment.
“Our ongoing partnership with INSIDE Secure has resulted in our second smart meter design, demonstrating a cost-effective solution for the postpaid market that lets consumers use NFC smartphones or other devices to securely read their own meters and transmit encrypted data to utility companies to pay their bills,” said Bruno Baylac, director and general manager of Freescale’s Metering, Medical & Connectivity business unit. “Production versions of this demonstrator will be able to employ more highly integrated components to achieve one of the lowest-cost solutions in the industry.”
Co-developed by Freescale and INSIDE Secure, the postpaid meter demonstrator helps prevent fraud by providing end‐to‐end security between the meter and the utility company or energy distributor while providing cost-efficient remote reading capabilities.
The board being demonstrated this week uses the VaultIC 460 security module and the MicroRead® 3.4 NFC controller and Open NFC protocol stack from INSIDE Secure to provide sophisticated smart card security mechanisms such as those proven in the banking industry. The FIPS140-2 Level 3 certified VaultIC 460 security module enables comprehensive security functions such as mutual authentication, certificate generation and verification, data encryption/decryption and management of secure cryptographic key storage. By using an NFC transceiver in the system, meter manufacturers can build an impregnable, hermetically sealed solution that is virtually unhackable.
The system is controlled by Freescale’s Kinetis MK30X256 32-bit MCU (built on an ARM® Cortex™-M4 core), which operates at up to 100 MHz with 1.25 DMIPS/MHz. The built-in LCD segment controller displays the standard metering values at the push of a button. The system’s firmware is based on the Freescale MQX™ real-time operating system.
The demonstrator supports post-pay and prepaid solutions utilizing the same bill of materials by simply changing the firmware and smartphone application, providing the flexibility to create products to address multiple markets quickly and efficiently.
“Providing adequate security in electricity meters to prevent fraud while enabling customers to read their own meters presents several challenges,” said Christian Fleutelot, general manager and executive vice president for digital security at INSIDE Secure. “Working with Freescale, we have been able to combine our leading security and connectivity solutions with their microcontroller to create a postpaid meter that helps thwart fraud while providing a cost-efficient way for utilities to capture valuable usage information and receive payment.”
According to Fleutelot, INSIDE Secure will soon be announcing a more highly integrated solution that will enable manufacturers to achieve the lowest cost in the industry.
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Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) is a global leader in embedded processing solutions, providing industry-leading products that are advancing the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. From microprocessors and microcontrollers to sensors, analog integrated circuits and connectivity – our technologies are the foundation for the innovations that make our world greener, safer, healthier and more connected. Some of our key applications and end-markets include automotive safety, hybrid and all-electric vehicles, next generation wireless infrastructure, smart energy management, portable medical devices, consumer appliances and smart mobile devices. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com
About INSIDE Secure
INSIDE Secure is a leading designer, developer and supplier of semiconductors, embedded software and platforms for secure transactions and digital security. INSIDE mobile NFC, secure payment, and digital security products provide security for a wide range of information processing, storage and transmission applications. The company’s customers are found in a wide range of markets including mobile payment, identification documents, access control, transit, electronic device manufacturing, pay television and mobile service operators. For more information, visit www.insidesecure.com.
Freescale, the Freescale logo and Kinetis are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. ARM is the registered trademark of ARM Limited. Cortex is the trademark of ARM Limited. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
For INSIDE Secure:
Corman Communications, LLC
Patrick Corman, +1-650-326-9648
Andrew Lloyd & Associates
Juliette dos Santos, + 33 1 56 54 07 00
Geraldine Sauniere/Marcom Director, +33 (0) 4 42 39 33 01
For Freescale Semiconductor:
Andy North, 512-996-4418
Gloria Shiu, (85-22) 666-8237
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Laurent Massicot, (33-16) 935-7712
Anjali Srivastava, (91-120) 395-0000
Hiroyasu Oya, (81-3) 5437-9444
Source: Freescale Semiconductor and INSIDE Secure