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New TI Products Help Smart Meter Developers Simplify Designs & Complexity with NFC Capabilities

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(RFIDWorld.ca) Two new products from Texas Instruments (TI) that were announced this morning at Metering Europe conference. The new products help Smart Meter developers simplify designs, complexity and reduce system costs.

The first product is an innovative smart meter system-on-chip (SoC) that offers the ultimate level of integration to simplify design, increase flexibility and reduce system costs in e-meter designs. The integration of metrology, application and communication (PLC and RF) functions in one single chip eliminates the need for additional discrete components and redundant interfaces and increases the reliability of smart e-meter designs. The new Smart Meter SoC provides developers with the ultimate level of integration, complements TI’s complete portfolio for smart grid e-meter designs and now allows customers to scale their smart e-metering designs from several discrete components to the new integrated solution.

Features and benefits of TI’s Smart Meter SoC:

  • Certified metrology code is fully independent from the application code, allowing developers to make easy software upgrades and maintenance.
  • Communications engine has sufficient memory for field upgrades, which reduces system costs by eliminating the need for external memory.
  • Supports TI’s plcSUITE™ software for all narrowband PLC standards including G1, G3, PRIME, IEEE P1901.2, ITU – G.9903 and G.9904: a single platform for global markets reduces meter development cost and speeds time to market.
  • Includes multiple communication interfaces to easily connect external components like TI’s RF transceivers to bridge WAN and HAN on one single chip (sub-1GHz or 2.4GHz).
  • Encryption table and memory protection enable developers to include a security implementation on their smart e-meter products.
  • Expandable platform to support future smart e-meter features sets because of external memory interface.
  • Flexible clock scheme on separate engines allows adaption of processing power and power Nick,consumption to application requirements.
  • Plugs into TI’s new Smart Meter Board (SMB) 3.0 to support advanced features and near field communication (NFC), sub-1GHz, ZigBee® and Wi-Fi connectivity options.
  • Supports the following TI smart grid software: metrology libraries or metroSUITE™ compliant with EN 50470-1/3, IEC62053-21/22/23, ANSIC12.1/10/20 for one-phase and three-phase meters; plcSUITE™; RF communication in sub-1GHz bands (including 802.15.4g); ZigBee Smart Energy Profile (SEP) 1.x and SEP2.0 running on the Cortex-M3 core; prepayment MIFARE™, NFC and encryption for design ease and flexibility

The new Smart Meter SoC is a fully integrated solution combining three independent engines. The metrology engine delivers 0.5 percent meter class accuracy and includes support for one-phase or three-phase meters. The independent, industry-standard ARM® Cortex™-M3 core allows ease of development for meter management firmware (DLMS/COSEM, advanced metrology, application profiles, network stack) and security with memory up to 1MB Flash. An independent, flexible communication engine includes support of multiple standards for power line communication (PLC) and radio frequency (RF) communications to allow developers to design products capable of communicating with wide area network (WAN) and home area network (HAN) domains and enabled devices.

The second new product is a new modular and scalable smart meter system solution with multiple communication protocols that lets developers customize their design tools, hardware and software to their exact needs. The development platform supports one-phase to three-phase smart electricity meters with the smart grid’s most prolific communications protocols, with multiple wired and wireless communication protocols including power line communication (PLC), near field communication (NFC), Wi-Fi®, sub-1GHz and 2.4GHz ZigBee® Smart Energy Profile (SEP) on e-metering and pre-payment metering applications to showcase automatic meter reading (AMR) and automatic metering infrastructure (AMI) systems.

The new Smart Meter Board system integrates TI’s expertise in the smart grid and connectivity markets and highlights TI’s broad portfolio of smart grid solutions. TI’s recently announced Smart Meter system-on-chip (SoC) is compatible with the Smart Meter Board system and can be plugged into the board for development and expand the functionalities of the SoC.

Features and benefits of TI’s Smart Meter Board:

  • Modular and scalable smart meter development platform helps developers design low-end to advanced smart meters for AMR and AMI systems.
  • Open platform lets developers customize their designs for further development and/or differentiation.
  • Supports processors ranging from ARM® Cortex™-M microcontrollers to Cortex-A8 processors so developers can choose the device features that best suit their project.
  • Support for low-power RF (sub-1GHz and 2.4GHz ZigBee) implementations connects a meter to a home area network (HAN) for short-range communication.
  • Supports PLC for PRIME/G1/G3/P1901.2 for low-frequency narrowband communication.
  • NFC capabilities introduce options for pre-payment of energy.
  • Wi-Fi capability allows smart meters to connect to an IP network so customers can communicate with the smart meter through a Wi-Fi-connected computer, smartphone or tablet, without the additional cost and complexity of a gateway.
  • Easy software integration with support for TI Smart Grid software libraries, including ZigBee SEP 1.x and 2.0, WMBUS, 802.15.4g, one-phase/two-phase metrology, THD, DLMS, pre-payment, MIFARE™ and encryption.

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