Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Freescale and INSIDE Secure Revolutionize the Prepaid Meter

Prepaid meter reference design enables secure purchase and reload of energy credit balance using smart phones or contactless smart cards
DistribuTECH 2012
SAN ANTONIO--()--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.
“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.”
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 VaultICTM 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.”
Tweet this: @Freescale and INSIDE Secure announce a secure prepaid utility #smartmeter reference design with NFC connectivityhttp://ow.ly/8AXcZ
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® CortexTM-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.

Paying for Public Transit in Philadelphia: as Simple as Tapping a Credit Card or Waving a Smartphone

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ACS, A Xerox Company, Helps Philadelphia Install One of the Nation’s First Open Fare Payment Systems for Public Transit
DALLAS--()--Riding on any Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) vehicle soon won’t require passes, farecards, tokens or cash. As part of a $122.2 million contract with ACS, A Xerox Company (NYSE: XRX), passengers will instead be able to digitally pay their fare with a quick tap or wave of their “contactless” credit or debit card or even their smartphone. SEPTA will be one of the first in the country to offer riders the ability to travel and pay this way.
“This new system will allow commuters to spend more time where they want to be and less time getting there or waiting in line”
Passengers riding any of the buses, subways, trolleys or the regional rail trains on the SEPTA system will be able to use this modernized open payment fare collection system. During the three-year implementation, ACS will design, install, integrate and operate one of the country’s most sophisticated transit payment technology systems. The contract also includes two five-year options for continued operations.
“This next generation payment system will offer an extraordinary level of convenience, speed and accuracy for customers,” said SEPTA general manager Joseph M. Casey.
The new system will allow passengers to pay their fares using a card many already have in their wallets. It will be more secure due to strict banking industry standards, and more convenient and simpler than fare payment options available elsewhere. It also will allow for seamless travel throughout the entire SEPTA network and provide the capability for future integration with other transit authorities in the region.
For the first time ever, the New Payment Technology will provide SEPTA with precise, real-time business intelligence on all services with the ability to better manage resources, modify services and respond to customer needs.
“This new system will allow commuters to spend more time where they want to be and less time getting there or waiting in line,” said Dave Amoriell, chief operating officer, Transportation and Local Government Solutions, ACS.
Working with New Jersey TransitThe Metropolitan Transit Authority (NY) and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, ACS, was the first to demonstrate that complex, regional fare collection systems can accept regular contactless credit and debit cards. Rider satisfaction surveys showed the majority of riders liked the new payment technology and most preferred it over the current cash, coin, and ticket-based transit payment system.
The ACS team consists of local partners including PRWT, which will provide customer care support; Parsons Transportation Group, which will provide design, engineering and construction support services; and Temple University, which is conducting software development.
ACS systems and services are used by more than 1,000 municipal, regional and national operators in 400 cities worldwide to run more than 150,000 pieces of equipment that enables 50 million passengers per day to use buses, trolleys, tramways and trains. ACS-deployed solutions include more than 50,000 smart card readers on buses, faregates, turnstiles, and other fare collection devices. ACS is the largest provider of transportation services to governments worldwide, with projects in 35 countries.

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