Rohm Pre-announces “First” Baseband IC Compliant with HD-PLC Inside

October 09, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

ROHM Semiconductor has recently begun development of what is expected to be the industry’s “first” baseband IC compliant with HD PLC Inside, a newly developed embedded broadband high-speed power line communication technology designed for home appliances, BEMS, HEMS, and HAN applications that makes it possible to configure home networks using existing power lines. This new standard incorporates intermittent operation functionality for significantly reduced power consumption compared with existing PLC devices. Samples of the new ICs are expected to be available in March 2014 with production scheduled to begin in June 2014.

Besides HD-PLC Inside baseband processing functionality, an ARM7TDMI core will be included for handling TCP/IP and other protocols, minimizing the amount of modifications required to existing systems, reducing development load significantly – particularly for customers new to HD-PLC technology. Embedding HD-PLC-Inside-compliant products into home appliances (i.e. ACs, refrigerators), HEMS, BEMS, HAN, and lighting devices enables low-cost, low-power, high-speed communication over existing power lines (by simply plugging into AC outlets), providing unprecedented convenience and functionality – without the need to create a new network.

Recent years has seen increased adoption of smart grid systems such HEMS, BEMS, and HANs that connect multiple home appliances and devices and enable remote operation, energy management, and other functions that promote greater efficiency and convenience. In 2012 ROHM joined the HD-PLC Alliance, and recently began development of an HD-PLC Inside compliant baseband IC utilizing a number of proprietary ROHM Group technologies.

The integrated ARM7TDMI is designed to handle protocol (TCP/IP) processing, making it possible to incorporate into existing systems with little to no modifications. This reduces design load considerably for customers new to HD-PLC technology. Support for the ECHONET Lite middleware Smart Home communication standard and SSL encryption are also provided. Intermittent operation function is built in, cutting power consumption by up to 30 times during standby (wait) compared with convention PLC solutions.