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Introduction

This section covers what is meter tampering, why is this a problem for utility providers, and some common ways a meter is tampered.

Low noise DC/DC

Why place an LDO after a DC/DC?

Understand the performance and tradeoffs of the traditional low noise and high efficiency approach of using a DC/DC followed by an LDO.  Visualize other systems that could use the same approach, with the appropriate DC/DCs and LDOs in different packages and with different features.

Low noise DC/DC

A deep dive into the DC/DC + LDO approach

Understand the performance and trade-offs of the traditional low noise and high efficiency approach of using a DC/DC followed by an LDO, through a deep dive into TIDA-01566. The size, quiescent current, efficiency, temperature rise, noise, and adaptability of three different approaches are compared: DC/DC + LDO, DC/DC only, and LDO only.

Low noise DC/DC

Lower noise for a negative output voltage rail

What you will learn in this webinar:

  • How to achieve a low noise at a negative output voltage with the inverting buck topology
  • Understanding how the buck output stage and filtered reference voltage attenuate noise
  • The elimination of LDOs when powering data converters by utilizing these low-noise features

Detecting case tamper attacks using inductive switches

The first line of defense against tampering by bypassing current, reversing connections, and disconnecting leads is the meter case. Due to this, it is common for utilities to require some form of intrusion detection system to detect when someone opens a case.  In this section, we will cover how to detect someone trying to open the case of a meter.

Detecting magnetic tampering using hall-effect sensors

For anti-tampering, it is common to try to detect the presence of a strong magnet. In this section, we will cover the use of hall sensors for low-power detection of strong magnetic fields in three dimensions.  Details on our magnetic tamper detection reference design, TIDA-00839, will be provided as well as some of the design considerations that were kept in mind when creating this reference design.  

Hardening a meter against magnetic tamper attacks

In this section, we will cover how to harden a meter against these magnetic tamper attacks by using shunts for current sensors. For poly-phase implementations, I will go over how to use isolated delta sigma modulators to add the necessary isolation to use shunt current sensors and create magnetically immune poly-phase energy measurement systems. The TIDA-00601 and TIDA-01094 reference designs, which show how to implement a poly-phase isolated shunt measurement system, will be discussed as well as the associated AMC1304 high-side power supplies used in these designs.

Summary

In this section, a summary of the entire “Anti-tamper Techniques to Thwart Attacks on Smart Meters” training module would be covered.  This summary would cover the “Detecting case tamper attacks using inductive switches “, “Detecting magnetic tampering using hall-effect sensors “,  and “Hardening a meter against magnetic tamper attacks “ sections of the training series. Links will be provided for the reference designs and design tools that were discussed during this training series.

Low noise DC/DC

You CAN have both - low noise AND high efficiency

For noise-critical portable applications, such as GPS receivers, connectivity, and sensing, power supply designers always had to choose between longer battery run time (from higher efficiency) or higher signal chain performance (from the increased sensor sensitivity possible with a quieter power supply). For line-powered industrial or communications equipment applications, designers have been forced to dissipate significant amounts of power in LDOs to achieve the desired noise performance. Achieving both low noise and high efficiency was impossible.

LDO Basics Video Series

LDO basics video series

This LDO basics video series will cover topics including dropout voltage, current limit, power supply rejection ration (PSRR), noise, thermals, and many more. The video series will also introduce key performance features, explain impact in power management, give example applications, and answer commonly asked questions. 

Anti-tamper Techniques to Thwart Attacks on Smart Meters

Non-technical losses (“theft”) account for billions of dollars of revenue loss for utility providers around the world as individuals are able to hack meters to slow or stop the accumulation of energy usage statistics. This loss has driven increased requirements for enhancing the protection designed into new smart meters.  This training session will discuss different methods of attacking smart meters and how TI’s analog portfolio can be used to detect or even prevent these attacks. In one scenario magnets are used to saturate any transformers present in the system.

Power fundamentals - linear regulator fundamentals

This five-part series provides an overview of linear regulators.

Power fundamentals - DC-DC fundamentals

This five-part series provides an overview of DC-DC converters.

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