KNX Protocol Implemented on G3-PLC Powerline Communication Solution

February 15, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced it has implemented KNX protocol on its G3-PLC™ powerline communication (PLC) solution. Based on the company's G3-PLC Powerline Modem Solution, Renesas will demonstrate a proof of concept at embedded world, February 26-28, 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany, Booth 1-310 (Hall 1), to illustrate how to implement KNX networks. The demonstration will show how to take advantage of the flexibility and efficiency offered by modern G3-PLC technology while eliminating the need for new network cable deployment.

PLC is a cost-efficient way to expand connectivity through the building in particular over long distances and across the walls. It combines data line and power line onto one cable system and uses the most efficient modulation techniques. The proof of concept allows customers to build KNX over the G3-PLC protocol, offering a smooth migration path from existing KNX standard towards upcoming KNX IoT standard.

G3-PLC is a protocol for narrowband, low-frequency powerline communication that facilitates high-speed, highly-reliable, long-range communication over the existing powerline grid. The protocol is developed and maintained by the G3-PLC Alliance as a potentially ubiquitous powerline communications standard to enable the smart grid vision.

"With the trend toward energy efficiency and green design of commercial buildings, the challenges of renovating existing facilities is growing, particularly for power distribution networks, since most commercial buildings have areas where RF and traditional network cabling do no reach," said Akihiro Kuroda, Vice President, Renesas Electronics Corporation. "The new Renesas Powerline Modem Solution demonstrates the possibilities for G3-PLC technology to address these needs without requiring new cable deployment by combining the advantages of the open G3-PLC standard with the attractiveness of KNX protocol known to be one of the most popular network protocols for building automation. This will enable the deployment of reliable and cost-effective networking solutions for HVAC, lighting, fire and safety, and building access security, among others."

"The Renesas Powerline Modem Solution with KNX over G3-PLC is an excellent way to validate the benefits of using of G3-PLC technology for building automation applications using KNX," said Joost Demarest, CTO of the KNX Association. "Furthermore, considering the KNX association activities to pave the way for KNX IoT, the Renesas G3-PLC solution as a fully IP based solution will also be a strong fit for the future KNX IoT protocol."

Primarily developed for energy metering applications, the G3-PLC protocol is freely usable as an open standard, and the standard is continuously maintained by the G3-PLC Alliance. Marc Delandre, Chairman of the G3-PLC Alliance commented, "Even though G3-PLC was first adopted for metering applications, its field of usage is not restricted and the Renesas solution opens new horizons for G3-PLC technology adoption in smart building applications."

The Renesas Powerline Modem Solution, which the demonstration utilizes, comprises Renesas' OFDM PLC software modem (R9A06G037), a Renesas Synergy™ microcontroller (MCU) and the ISL15102. The MCU serves as the power line driver. The software stack is based on the Synergy Software package (SSP), and it couples the Renesas G3-PLC stack with a KNX software stack provided by Tapko Technologies GmbH.

Renesas notes that it was the first supplier to achieve certifications for all frequency bands defined by the G3-PLC Alliance, including ARIB, CENELEC-A, CENELEC-B and FCC. With the new proof of concept solution, Renesas continues to support the adoption and deployment of PLC technologies for smart buildings and other energy-efficient building automation environments.

The Renesas G3-PLC Modem Solution with a complete set of software supporting KNX Protocol will be available in Q3, 2019. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)