Highest performance smart grid reference platform

14th October 2013
Posted By : Nat Bowers
Highest performance smart grid reference platform

Designers of smart meters can now reduce time to market, raise the bar for higher accuracy, and secure their designs with Capistrano, a smart grid reference platform from Maxim. Powered by the company’s Zeus metering SoC, Capistrano protects designs with advanced cryptography, physical attack detection, and life-cycle security schemes.

Protecting more than just the smart meter, the security technology is capable of securing any distributed node in the smart grid. Additionally, the high integration in Capistrano makes it versatile - it simplifies smart grid designs by integrating four complex processors: an applications processor, metering microcontroller, metering front-end/DSP, and security coprocessor. It also offers the best accuracy in the industry - 0.1% over a wide current range of 8000:1. The combination of advanced measurement, powerful security tools, and efficient processing allows Capistrano to support evolving application design requirements. Thus it is ideal for a wide variety of applications, including smart meters, smart lighting, solar inverters, building automation, submetering, and other smart applications.

Key advantages

  • High integration: integrates an applications processor, metering microcontroller, metering front-end/DSP, and a secure coprocessor,
  • Advanced security: integrates physical-attack detection, a secure bootloader, and advanced cryptography schemes including elliptic curve; supports secure in-field software upgrades,
  • Excellent performance: offers independent ADC channels for metrology; 0.1% accuracy over an 8000:1 range,
  • Flexibility: easily connect Capistrano to PRIME, G3-PLC™, GPRS, and other modems; enough processing power to handle future application requirements,
  • Simplifies and speeds designs: start designs for next-generation smart grid products with the most integrated reference platform and optimized BOM cost.

Kris Ardis, Executive Director of Energy Solutions at Maxim Integrated, commented: “Capistrano offers the best performance and highest security for smart energy applications. It provides an excellent toolbox for building tomorrow’s smart grid.”

Capistrano diagram

“More than 100 million smart electricity meters are expected to be shipped in 2014. For designers, security, improving smart meter time to market, and adapting to changing policy requirements will all be critical,” comments Jacob Rodrigues Pereira, IHS analyst for smart utilities infrastructure.


Capistrano reference platforms and Zeus samples are available for qualified customers.

European Utility Week

Maxim Integrated will present the MAX78700/MAX78615 chipset at European Utility Week in Amsterdam on October 15-17, 2013. Maxim will also demonstrate its other highly integrated energy-measurement solutions, including a complete smart meter reference platform, residential energy-measurement and lighting demos, and a distribution automation system. Visit Maxim at the show at Hall 1, B34.

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