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TMCNet:  Freescale Enables Cost-Effective Meters with Highest Level of Accuracy and Security

[October 09, 2012]

Freescale Enables Cost-Effective Meters with Highest Level of Accuracy and Security

AMSTERDAM --(Business Wire)--

To address the increasing global demand for smart meters, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) has introduced the new Kinetis M series of microcontrollers (MCUs), based on the 32-bit ARM (News - Alert)® CortexTM-M0+ core. The Kinetis M series was designed specifically to enable a wide range of cost-effective one- or two-phase electrical meter designs.

To address the increasing global demand for smart meters, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) has in ...

To address the increasing global demand for smart meters, Freescale Semiconductor (News - Alert) (NYSE: FSL) has introduced the new Kinetis M series of microcontrollers (MCUs), based on the 32-bit ARM(R) CortexTM-M0+ core. The Kinetis M series was designed specifically to enable a wide range of cost-effective one- or two-phase electrical meter designs. (Photo: Business Wire)

Some Kinetis M series devices integrate the necessary peripherals to build a single-chip, cost-effective meter that does not require external components, while others are precision analog interface devices when used in multi-chip, higher-end smart meter applications.

Smart meters provide a cost-effective means to monitor energy use and maximize energy efficiency and are expected to contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that smart-grid-enabled energy distribution would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25 percent. While many governments are pushing smart energy initiatives, geographical and regional differences in infrastructure and energy usage patterns have created vastly different smart metering needs. To address these varying requirements, the Kinetis M series is configurable and is included in multiple reference designs for different regions, enabling countries to specifically address their individual energy management needs.

"By tailoring dedicated reference designs to meet specific regional needs, we are enabling governments and utilities to invest in the next generation of energy conservation with less effort and cost required on their end," said Dr. Reza Kazerounian, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Automotive, Industrial & Multi-market Solutions Group. "The Kinetis M series adds metrology solutions to our comprehensive smart metering portfolio, in addition to recently introduced applications processing and wireless connectivity solutions."

All Kinetis M series devices include an analog front end (AFE), which enables power calculations from the CPU to achieve 0.1 percent accuracy. The AFE is configurable to adapt to many regions and is composed of four 24-bit Sigma-Delta analog-to-digital (ADC (News - Alert)) converters, two low-noise programmable gain amplifiers to enable a dynamic range of 2000 to 1, one precision voltage reference with low drift over temperature range and a phase shift compensator to simplif accurate power computation. The AFE requires a single point of calibration - enabling OEMs to reduce manufacturing test costs.

Security is critical for metering applications, and the Kinetis M series integrates several key features for protection, including:

  • A memory protection unit to help prevent unauthorized code modifications
  • External tamper detection pins that actively monitor multiple intrusion attack methodologies to prevent external fraud
  • A random number generator for the most efficient execution of data cryptography algorithms for secure communication transactions

Kinetis KM3x key features

The first family in the Kinetis M series is the KM3x. Its key features include:

  • Analog front end and measurement engine
    • Capable of 0.1% accurate power measurement with highest signal-to-noise ratio (SNR 94dB) and dynamic range 2000 to 1
    • Four 24-bit sigma-delta ADC converters that are not multiplexed and have phase compensation, allowing exact concurrent measurements of current and voltage for superior accuracy
    • Two integrated programmable gain amplifiers increase dynamic range and lower total system cost
  • Ultra-low-power ARM Cortex-M0+ core capable of up to 50 MHz operation
    • Sub-100 µA/MHz typical current consumption in run mode
    • Multiple flexible low-power modes for specific use cases, such as neutral disconnect
  • Security
    • Memory protection unit allows direct WELMEC-compliant software implementation by protecting the relevant application code
    • Random number generator for efficient data encryption
    • Three active tamper detection pins with time-stamping for tamper events
  • System
    • Up to 128 KB flash memory and 16 KB SRAM
    • No external crystal is required for lowest-cost applications
    • Segment LCD controller for up to 288 segments
    • Real-time clock is auto-compensated for extreme accuracy

Development support

  • Ready-to-use, proven pre-certified metrology firmware for calculating active, reactive and apparent power using various algorithms
  • CodeWarrior Development Studio: a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) that provides a highly visual and automated framework for design
  • Supported by Freescale MQX RTOS software solutions and associated middleware
  • Tower System modular hardware development platform for rapid prototyping
  • Third-party development support, including the IAR IDE, is also available from the extensive ARM ecosystem
  • Tailored pre-certified reference designs:
    • High-accuracy one-phase meter for the Europe region
    • Cost-effective meter implementation for China and India supporting neutral disconnect
    • High-accuracy two-phase meter for the US and Japan regions

Tweet this: @Freescale enables cost-effective meters with highest level of accuracy and security www.freescale.com/KM3x


Freescale is currently sampling the Kinetis KM3x family MCUs, with the support of the CodeWarrior Development Studio and reference designs. Broad availability through authorized distributors is expected in the second quarter of 2013. For more information, visit www.freescale.com/KM3x.

About Metering, Billing/CRM Europe

With more than 5,000 expected attendees, this event is billed as the world´s largest smart utility exhibition that offers a unique networking platform for decision-makers in the utility business concerned with smart metering, data management, billing and customer issues.

Freescale is exhibiting in booth D06, demonstrating a variety of smart metering solutions based on the Kinetis KM3x for metrology, a sub-GHz wireless MCU and the Kinetis KW20 wireless MCU with integrated ZigBee® support.

About Freescale Semiconductor

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

Freescale, the Freescale logo, Kinetis and CodeWarrior are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (News - Alert), 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.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi eid=50432695&lang=en

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