New Industry Products

ON Semi Introduces Fully Integrated Power Line Modem For Smart Meters

September 01, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

ON Semiconductor has introduced the AMIS-49587, the latest member of the company’s power line carrier (PLC) modem family. The AMIS-49587 provides a highly integrated, standard compliant, low power PLC solution for use in applications such as smart electric automatic meter reading and management, street lighting control, smart power plug and building automation. Utilizing ON Semi’s mixed signal technology allows the AMIS-49587 to combine both the analog modem front end and digital post processing capability in the same integrated circuit.

By offering an integrated single chip solution, the IEC1334 compliant AMIS-49587 helps to simplify designs, lower development and implementation costs, and speed time to market. This new device is based around an ARM7TDMI processor core and includes both the physical interface transceiver (PHY) and the media access controller (MAC) layers whereas most competing solutions require complex embedded software to perform the same functions as the AMIS-49587.Using the spread frequency shift keying (S-FSK) modulation technique coupled with accurate filtering gives robust low data rate communications on power lines over long distances. Half-duplex selectable communication speeds of 2400 bits/sec (baud) can be achieved. A low operating frequency of less than 20 kHz with an automatic repeater function further supports dependable communications with fewer communication errors than alternative and existing solutions. Synchronization to the mains signal is done via an onboard low jitter PLL, and an embedded filter provides superior white noise and narrowband interference rejection. Direct connection to the host MCU is via a two-wire serial interface.

Due to its high level of integration and the onboard protocol embodiment, the AMIS-49587 accepts high level data inputs and eliminates the need for designers to go into PHY and MAC protocol transmission details. This higher-level interface means that up to 50% of the software development effort can be saved leading to a shorter time to market and reduced overall cost.

"The ability of the smart meter to produce real-time visibility of electricity and gas consumption will allow utility providers and governments to reduce power loss, optimize consumption and manage demand of valuable energy resources," said Guido Remmerie, Director Motion Control and Energy Management Products at ON Semiconductor. "The AMIS-49587 from ON Semiconductor supports a complete PLC communication solution to bring the measured power data to the utility companies over the power lines."

Supplied in a PLCC 28 package, the Pb-free and RoHS compliant AMIS-49587 is pin compatible with the AMIS-30585 – ON Semiconductor’s existing half-duplex S-FSK modem. Operating temperature range for the AMIS-49587 is -40 to +80 °C. ON Semiconductor will offer the AMIS-49587 in a QFN package soon.

The AMIS-49587 is currently available and budgetary pricing is $11.00 USD for quantities of 1,000 units and above. AMIS-49587 evaluation kits are available.