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STMicroelectronics Near-Field Communication Technology To Support Power Meters

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, and Wasion Group, China’s leading supplier of advanced energy-metering products and solutions,  announced the availability of NFC-enabled post-pay power meters for deployment in the municipal grid of ChongQing, China.

Wasion’s new meters rely on ST’s Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology enabling convenient mobile payments of electricity bills with uncompromised data security.

ST’s NFC system-in-package solution uses the international-standard 13.56MHZ RF interface adopted for NFC mobile phones worldwide. With Wasion’s post-pay NFC power meters, consumers can use their NFC mobile phones to read smart meters via a contactless RF interface and send the encrypted data over the 2G/3G mobile network to the banking back-end to complete the electricity-fee transaction.

The system-in-package contains an NFC contactless interface (ST21NFCA) and a Secure Element (ST33F1M). The ST33F1M Secure Element embeds a secure operating system from Gemalto, based on Global Platform GP2.2/Java3.0.1, which is among the most advanced secure NFC payment platforms available in the market. The Java OS and Java applets provide a secure environment for the application to run and store metering data. With this level of security, the same solution can also be used for pre-pay contract users. The system-in-package is used along with an STM32 MCU and ST’s EEPROM in Wasion’s power meters.

ST is one of the first semiconductor manufacturers to offer both the NFC controller and a high-performance SWP[1] Secure Element to provide a complete NFC mobile payment solution. By working with various mobile phone makers, mobile operators, and smart card vendors, ST can deliver a competitive complete NFC solution and product offer to the market.

“Our NFC solution with high-performance Secure Element assures a secure user experience when making mobile payments with NFC-enabled smart phones,” said Arnaud Julienne, Director, MMS Marketing and Application, Greater China & South Asia Region, STMicroelectronics. “With Wasion’s dedicated application running on an NFC-enabled mobile phone, users can easily make their electricity-fee payments from home.”

“ST’s innovative solution can be adapted for use in various applications such as Smart Metering, NFC mobile payment applications, and Internet of Things, enabling equipment manufacturers to ride the popular mobile payment trend by offering NFC payment capability on their products.” said Xijun Feng, Wasion’s Chief Technology Officer.

The NFC-enabled power meter prototype has been available since January 2012 and volume production will begin in June 2012.

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