04-11-2015 | | By Paul Whytock
A modem solution that can support any PLC protocol standard for all global frequency bands including CENELEC A, FCC and ARIB, has been launched by Renesas Electronics.
This is Renesas' third generation of flexible single-chip powerline solutions and the company believes it allows meter manufacturers to cut time-to-market and maximise system efficiency.
With its increased memory and boosted protocol processing performance new generation PLC protocols like PRIME 1.4 can be supported. In addition, functions like dual-route communication can be implemented.
With the rise of smart meters, meter manufacturers face challenges in developing new smart grid systems to support constantly changing needs. Governments and utility providers are drivers of these changes and in many cases tenders for the various mass deployments are divided into multiple tranches with different specifications and schedules. In response to this scenario, the meter manufacturers have to develop solutions to meet time to market pressures as well as a low total cost of ownership.
The new modem device integrates an enhanced MAC controller supporting large scale network hopping and routing as well as a DSP with special instructions for PLC, covering the physical layer and real time processes of the media access protocol implementation. DSP algorithms are implemented to provide noise detection, noise reduction and error correction mechanisms.
Good signal quality and dynamic range are provided by the embedded analogue front end with an integrated adaptive gain amplifier including automatic gain control functions.
A dedicated reference platform (YCONNECT-IT-PLC-CPX3) supplies customers with flexible device configuration.