Author Archives: Maxim - Application Notes

Implement Heightened Security with a SHA-256 Master/Slave Authentication System

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The DS28C22 is a DeepCover® secure authenticator with I²C interface that uses the SHA-256 algorithm for bidirectional authentication. Additional features, including a 3Kb user EEPROM array, multiple memory protection methods and advanced physical security, combine to provide the ultimate in cost-effective IP protection, clone prevention, and authentication. This document describes operating principles of the device, its special features, and its typical application environment.

Water and Power in the Internet of Everything

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The Internet of Things (IoT) will change everything about everyday life, once every thing is connected to the Internet! The networked toaster will send analytics to your favorite Internet company to track your gluten intake! But is this really what we should expect from the proliferation of sensors and network technology? Is this what we really want? In fact, the IoT is already here, but in a limited capacity. The IoT will continue to roll out, but not all at once in a glorious deployment of silicon and services The IoT will emerge in limited phases, in places and tasks where more intelligent real-time management of resources will improve our lives in meaningful ways. In this case, What resources, we all ask, will benefit the most from added intelligence? And what sensors and technology can bring this information to the IoT? This article will discuss how two of our planet’s most vital resources, electricity and water, stand the most to gain from a much more intelligent sensing network. We'll also show that the energy smart grid is already an active IoT, but really just the beginning.… Examples of the next waves in the IoT are already underway to help us manage these our precious resources better.

The Fundamentals of an ECDSA Authentication System

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There are two fundamentally different authentication schemes: symmetric systems, which rely on secret keys shared by host and authenticator, and asymmetric systems, such as the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), which rely on a private key in the authenticator and a public key that the host uses to verify the authenticator. In open systems where third-party entities need to be authenticated, the management and protection of the secret keys can be a problem. Here is where ECDSA offers the required flexibility. This article introduces the ECDSA concept, its mathematical background, and shows how the method can be successfully deployed in practice.

Understanding Multidrop Address Assignments for Thermal Sensors

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In many thermal applications, it may be desired to utilize multiple temperature sensors, placed in different physical locations, to monitor the operating temperatures in predefined 'zones' within the system. To accommodate this desire, many thermal products have the added flexibility of user-defined slave addressing.

Analog Integration Drives Factory Integration

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Analog integration is driving the integrated factory. Advances in analog and mixed-signal ICs contribute greatly to factory productivity, efficiency, quality, safety, and security. These all lead to increased uptime and reduced maintenance costs. This integration enables robust machine to machine (M2M) communications and ultimately the internet of things (IoT). Distributed intelligence, smart machines, smart sensors, and the integration of factory data with business-management systems (information technology or IT) allows optimization of not only the factory process, but also material handling, machine utilization, scheduling, reporting, and throughput.

Thermal Management Handbook

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Maxim's Thermal Management Handbook includes temperature sensing and fan control concepts, circuits and application guidelines. Thermistors, thermocouples, RTDs, and various IC temperature sensors (local temperature sensors, remote temperature sensors, analog temperature sensors, digital temperature sensors, and temperature switches) are discussed, as well as various approaches to fan speed control.

Smart Monitoring Improves Distribution-Grid Reliability

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Four broad trends are changing operating conditions on electric-power distribution grids, and thus increasing stress on distribution infrastructure. To accommodate changing use models and improve reliability, smart powerline monitors are necessary for utilities to track dynamic operating conditions on distribution grids.

Enable Automotive USB Power: Managing the Increasing Currents, Longer Cables, and Tight Portable-Device Specifications

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This application note discusses the challenges of rapid USB charging of today’s portable devices (PDs) in an automobile. The PDs may not charge quickly or charge at all, especially the more recent power-hungry devices. We explain why low-cost USB car chargers are not the solution because they introduce radio interference (RF) into the vehicle. We discuss a new DC-DC converter with a smart USB switch that leverages tight integration to provide automotive-specific USB power, USB charge enumeration, and port protection. It solves recent problems with higher PD charging current.

Ensuring the Complete Life-Cycle Security of Smart Meters

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This application note explores the various potential points of attack in the life cycle of smart meters: during manufacturing, installation, operation, and post-installation. The application note then discusses real solutions to these security vulnerabilities, such as the use of secure bootloaders during manufacturing, metrology boards during installation, asymmetric encryption in the hardware rather than the software during operation, and possibly a cumulative attestation kernel (CAK) for forward-looking security. Maxim’s ZEUS system-on-chip (SoC) is presented as a robust design solution for smart meter security.

78M6610+LMU In-System Calibration

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This document describes the 78M6610+LMU configuration, including scaling, input setup, and in-system calibration procedures. The 78M6610+LMU data sheet and the 78M6610+LMU Evaluation Kit User Manual are helpful references for understanding the contents of this document.

Silicon, Security, and the Internet of Things

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The smart grid has broken from the fantasies of the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide something useful. In this article we discuss why the smart grid does not follow the pervasive IoT fantasy projections. We will show how real IoT deployments are made to better manage valuable resources and how an IoT creates a critical need for security.

Getting the Most Out of the MAX14920/MAX14921 High-Accuracy Battery-Measurement AFEs

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The MAX14920/MAX14921 is a high-accuracy battery-measurement analog front-end (AFE) ideal for cell balancing and battery-measurement applications. The performance of the system in which the MAX14920/MAX14921 is used, however, depends highly on the components that support and surround it. This application note provides a framework for, and examples of, selecting system architectures and building blocks that meet diverse accuracy and cost requirements.