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Maxim smart-meter SoC combines metrology, security, and communication
Michael McManus, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Tuesday 13 November 2012]

Maxim Integrated Products recently introduced Zeus, an advance in integration and security protection for the smart grid. Zeus is a complete smart-meter system-on-a-chip (SoC) that offers highly accurate metrology, multiple layers of security, and processing horsepower for advanced communication protocols.

As smart meters become more connected, the need for security is paramount to protect against energy theft and cyber attacks on the grid. Zeus provides meter manufacturers with a platform for development in multiple end markets, supporting a wide range of security and communication requirements. A built-in cryptographic module secures communication; a secure bootloader prevents unauthorized firmware modification; and tamper detection assures providers that any attempts to physically attack the meter will be detected, recorded, and reported.

According to Maxim, some of the key advantages of Zeus include strong metering accuracy based on multiple ADC channels that each run at 10ksps, offering 0.1% accuracy over a 5,000:1 dynamic range; future proofing to support future applications based on its processing foundation of a 120MHz ARM Cortex M3 application processor and a 40MHz, 32-bit MAXQ30 microcontroller with DSP support for the metering function; while its multicore architecture also supports WELMEC separation of legally relevant and irrelevant functions to ease validation.

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