Smart meters are fast becoming vital elements of today’s connected homes. Utilities have to make sure that the smart metering devices are free from any physical tampering. Emphasizing its competence in system-level smart meter reference designs, semiconductor giant Freescale (News - Alert) recently introduced the Xtrinsic MMA8491Q accelerometer that is capable of addressing this critical need.
Featuring ultra-low power consumption and a simple plug-and-play approach, Xtrinsic MMA8491Q is capable of detecting any change in tilt angle and alerts the utility company on any possible physical tampering attempts.
“Smart meters are proliferating with the emergence of the connected home and smart grid, and protection from physical tampering is a critical requirement. Freescale is addressing this need with a simple to use, cost-effective and extremely low-power 3-axis accelerometer with specific embedded functionality,” vice president and general manager of Freescale's Sensor and Actuator Solutions Division, Seyed Paransun noted in a statement.
According to Freescale, the Xtrinsic MMA8491Q accelerometer was designed to be very flexible and useful for a wide variety of applications beyond smart metering in which orientation needs to be accurately measured – motion detection in gaming consoles and home appliances, for example.
The accelerometer can also be used for tracking asset handling in business and industrial settings and can be employed in eHealth and portable health monitoring systems.
Currently in production, Xtrinsic MMA8491Q features very low current consumption at 400 nA per Hz. Its dedicated enable pin allows for one shot measurements. In addition to the preconfigured tilt threshold detection feature, it also comes with programmable tilt threshold limits.
Recently, Freescale forged partnership with the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics (News - Alert). The partnership will result in the donation of Freescale's ARM Cortex-M4 based Kinetis microcontrollers (MCUs) based around the Freescale Tower System combined with the CodeWarrior software development suite to equip the Informatics Computer Architecture Lab. Freescale experts will also be available to provide lectures, project and presentation support at the university to help ensure that students and professors are always up to date with the latest embedded products and industry trends.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman