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    Using Secure IC Devices to Maintain the Integrity of DC Current Metering Data

    Courtesy: Brette Mullenaux | Microchip

    This blog post explores how our secure Integrated Circuit (IC) devices play a critical role in ensuring the credibility of Direct Current (DC) metering applications.

    Enhancing Trust in DC Metering Technology

    Direct Current (DC) metering is essential in various industries including data centers, communications, transportation, industrial and renewable energy. The proliferation of DC circuits, especially in applications like Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, has led to an increased demand for reliable and trustworthy DC metering technology. Unlike AC metering, which may overlook losses that occur from AC-to-DC conversion, DC metering ensures the accurate measurement of energy consumption.

    However, ensuring the credibility and integrity of DC metering data is a significant challenge. As global standards and regulations evolve to standardize metering results, the need for authentic and secure measurements becomes paramount. This is where our secure Integrated Circuit (IC) devices play a crucial role in ensuring the trustworthiness of DC metering applications.

    The Importance of Reliable DC Metering

    DC metering plays a critical role in applications such as DC fast charging Level 3 and above. In these scenarios, end users need to pay for the precise amount of energy they receive. AC metering may not provide accurate results due to the losses incurred during the AC-to-DC conversion process. Therefore, the use of DC metering is essential for billing transparency and fairness.

    Global standards, like the German Eichrecht standard, are being developed to ensure that DC metering measurements are authentic and trustworthy. These standards require end users to have the means to validate the authenticity of energy measurements; this is where our secure IC devices come into play.

    Challenges in Ensuring DC Metering Security

    DC metering systems typically include a microcontroller (MCU) that is responsible for logic, LCD displays and communication protocols. While these systems often use MCUs from reputable suppliers, the security aspect is often implemented in the software. However, software-based security can expose DC meters to vulnerabilities that could compromise the credibility of the measurements.

    Secure IC Devices: A Solution for Reliable DC Metering

    We offer a wide range of solutions, including reference designs, that cater to vertical markets where DC metering is vital. One notable example is the market for EV chargers, where reliable measurements are crucial for accurate billing.

    Our TA100, ATECC608 and ECC204 devices are specifically designed to address the security challenges in DC metering applications. These devices provide robust hardware-level protection for private keys and support ECC P256 ECDSA sign operations in hardware. By leveraging our CryptoAuthentication library, DC metering vendors can efficiently implement secure JSON-encrypted data signing.

    OCMF: Ensuring Authenticity and Integrity

    In the context of DC metering, the Open Charging Metering Format (OCMF) often comes into play, particularly in reference to the Eichrecht standard in Germany. OCMF is a JSON format that includes energy measurements and a valid ECC signature. This format allows end users to verify the authenticity of measurements by using the corresponding public key. Additionally, the German Eichrecht standard mandates that DC meters include a small display accessible to users for transparency and validation.

    Our secure IC devices, including the TA100, ATECC608 and ECC204, ensure that private keys are securely stored in hardware, making it challenging for hackers to compromise the integrity of DC metering data. Implementing JSON data signing using these devices is straightforward thanks to the high-level APIs provided by our CryptoAuthentication library.


    In an era where the credibility of DC metering data is crucial for various applications, our secure IC devices provide a robust solution for safeguarding private keys and ensuring the authenticity and integrity of measurements. By embracing hardware-level security, DC metering vendors can meet evolving standards and regulations while offering end users transparent and trustworthy billing. As DC metering continues to expand across different industries, our contribution to enhancing security in this field is invaluable.

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