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Freescale Xtrinsic tilt sensor heightens smart meter security

Easy-to-use electronic tamper detection reference design helps detect vandalism of smart meters

AUSTIN, Texas – June 12, 2012 – Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) is introducing a system-level smart meter reference design that detects physical tampering. The high-performance reference design is a three-phase electricity meter that integrates Freescale’s ultra-low-power Xtrinsic MMA8491Q tilt sensor used for electronic tamper detection, a Kinetis K30 microcontroller (MCU) and an MC1322x RF transceiver for ZigBee® wireless connectivity.

The Xtrinsic MMA8491Q micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) tilt sensor has X-, Y- and Z-axis tilt detect outputs with programmable thresholds. When someone tampers with the smart meter, the movement of the meter is detected through the change in tilt angle and then communicated to the utility company as a tampering event. Physical security can also be detected for other smart grid components including data concentrators, intelligent electronic devices (IEDs) and secure gateways.

Comprehensive reference design solution
Freescale offers a system-level solution with hardware and software, including:

  • Xtrinsic MMA8491Q ultra-low-power tilt sensor (400 nA per Hz)
  • Kinetis K30 MCU with 10 low-power modes (2.1 micro amps typical for very low leakage at stop mode 1)
  • Flexible support of various communication protocols
  • Schematics, gerber files, bill of materials and source code
  • Software algorithms for both metrology applications and the MEMS sensor

Mechanical solution replacement
Replacing a mechanical system with an electronic solution such as Freescale’s electronic tamper detection reference design results in a longer-lasting, more reliable electricity meter that requires fewer field repairs and saves cost. The Xtrinsic MMA8491Q tilt sensor, using its maximum and minimum tilt angles, has outstanding performance throughout the lifetime of the system. Freescale’s electronic tamper detection reference design is compact and environmentally friendly compared to mechanical switches that contain mercury.

Available for evaluation
The smart meter electronic tamper detection reference design (MK30ETAMP3PHMTR) is now available from Freescale for evaluation. For more information, visit

Tweet this: @Freescale #Xtrinsic tilt sensor heightens smart meter security

Freescale product longevity program
Freescale Semiconductor provides a product longevity program for the market segments it serves. Freescale’s Kinetis K30 MCU and Xtrinsic MMA8491Q tilt sensor are available for a minimum period of 10 years.
About the Freescale Technology Forum 
Created to drive innovation and collaboration, the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) has become one of the developer events of the year for the embedded systems industry. The Forum has drawn more than 48,000 attendees at FTF events worldwide since its inception in 2005. Our annual flagship event, FTF Americas, will take place June 18-21, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas. Registration is now open.
About Freescale Semiconductor 
Freescale Semiconductor 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.

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Media Contacts:

Andy North
Freescale Semiconductor
(512) 996-4418

Gloria Shiu
Freescale Semiconductor
(85-22) 666-8237

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Laurent Massicot
Freescale Semiconductor
+33 (0)1 69 10 48 05

Anjali Srivastava
Freescale Semiconductor
(91-120) 395-0000

Hiroyasu Oya
Freescale Semiconductor
(81-3) 5437-9444

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor,
Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Xtrinsic is a trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © 2012 Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

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