Smart-meter SoC combines metrology, security and communication capabilities

October 09, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Maxim’s highly integrated smart-meter SoC secures the life cycle, the developer’s IP, and the grid itself with proven embedded security technology.

Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. has introduced Zeus, an advance in integration and security protection for the smart grid which is a complete smart-meter system-on-a-chip that offers accurate metrology, multiple layers of security, and processing power for today’s 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.

The SoC’s multiple ADC channels each run at 10 ksps, offering 0.1% accuracy over a 5,000:1 dynamic range.  The device uses a 120 MHz ARM Cortex M3 application processor and a 40 MHz, 32-bit MAXQ30 microcontroller with DSP support for the metering function.  The multicore architecture supports WELMEC separation of legally relevant and irrelevant functions to ease validation

The Zeus platform includes the MAX71616, MAX71617, MAX71636, and MAX71637.

Maxim will be previewing the Zeus platform at Metering, Billing/CRM Europe (Amsterdam, October 9- 11, Booth C46) and electronica (Munich, November 13-16, Hall A6, booth 163).

For more information about the MAX71616, MAX71617, MAX71636, and MAX71637 at

For more details about Zeus at