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Prepaid meter reference design enables secure purchase and reload of energy credit balance using smart phones or contactless smart cards

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition) – Jan. 24, 2012 – Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) and Inside Secure today 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(MCU), provides the first NFC-based, prepaid meter with the ability to securely reload energy credit balances.

Utilities in many countries require a sophisticated payment infrastructure to facilitate the utility payment process while preventing fraud. Secure prepaid meters, such as this reference design developed by Freescale and Inside Secure, address this need by adding sophisticated smart card security mechanisms that have been proven in the banking industry. Products 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.

“The global need for prepaid metering solutions and robust security is rapidly

increasing, especially in emerging markets,” said Bruno Baylac, director of Freescale's Metering, Medical and Connectivity Solutions business. “By partnering with Inside Secure we are not only bringing advanced security features but also innovative contactless technology, enabling the design of simple, tough mechanical meters that are virtually tamper-proof.”

“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 FIPS140-2 Level 3 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.

The secured prepaid meter reference design is being demonstrated by Freescale and Inside Secure during the DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition, January 24-26, in booth 131 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The reference design also will be demonstrated in the Freescale booth during the Smart Metering UK & Europe Summit 2012 conference and exhibition being held in London January 26-27.


About Freescale

Freescale (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.


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


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For Inside Secure:

Patrick Corman

Corman Communications, LLC

+1 (650) 326-9648

Andrew Lloyd & Associates

Juliette dos Santos

Tel: + 33 1 56 54 07 00


Company contact:

Inside Secure

Geraldine Sauniere

Marcom Director

+33 (0) 4 42 39 33 01



For Freescale:


Andy North

Freescale Semiconductor

(512) 996-4418


Asia Pacific

Gloria Shiu

Freescale Semiconductor

(85-22) 666-8237


Europe, Middle East and Africa

Laurent Massicot

Freescale Semiconductor

(33-16) 910-4805



Anjali Srivastava

Freescale Semiconductor

(91-120) 395-0000



Koichi Wakamatsu

Freescale Semiconductor

(81-3) 5437-9128

Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Kinetis and MQX are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. 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.