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​Arm and KEPCO to co-develop secure one-chip for IoT meter project

UK chip giant Arm and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) will co-develop a chipset with embedded security to be used for the latter's national Internet of Things water meter project.

Arm and KEPCO will co-develop a chipset with embedded security to be used in South Korea's national Internet of Things (IoT) smart water meter project, the companies announced.

The government-owned electric power company -- the largest in South Korea -- is currently rolling out IoT smart water meters nationwide. The project, called Advanced Metering Infrastructure, is worth 1.9 trillion won ($1.5 billion) and aims to install 22.5 million meters that cover the entire nation by 2020.

The joint research will last three years, said Cho Seong-soo, manger and member of KEPCO's technology strategy team, with real-life testing beginning likely in around two years. Current meters used varied suppliers, some with one chipset and others with processors and security chips separate, but the new solution aims to overcome that, Cho said.

"When we commence the trial, we will thoroughly review whether the new solution is more cost-effective and secure to our current solutions," the manager said.

In the long-run, KEPCO wants customers to check their usage through mobile phones in real-time while it monitors nationwide usage efficiently.

Last year, the national corporation received heavy criticism for using outdated security chips and this latest move is its response.

KEPCO plans to use Arm's Mbed IoT Device Platform, Cortex-M33 processor, and Platform Security Architecture (PSA), including Arm TrustZone technology for secure device development, deployment, and management.

These will allow the meters to be managed in cloud or hybrid environments securely, Arm said.

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