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PLC modem SoC targets smart metering and building automation markets

PLC modem SoC targets smart metering and building automation markets

ON Semiconductor has introduced a new power line carrier (PLC) modem system on chip (SoC) for use in applications such as e-metering, home automation, solar energy and lighting control.

The first device in a new family of PLC modems, the NCN49597 combines a low power 32bit ARM Cortex M0 processor with a high precision analogue front end. Based on a dual 4800-baud S-FSK (spread frequency shift keying) channel technology, it is optimised for power efficiency and performance, while providing robustness and reliability to enable operation in harsh environments.

The NCN49597 is fully compliant with the prevailing IEC61334-5-1 standard but also supports customised implementation of the popular building automation standard while keeping pin to pin and function compatibility with its predecessor, the AMIS-49587. The new device features field reprogrammability, smart synchronisation and automatic half baud rate detection to simplify implementation.

Programmable carrier frequencies in the CENELEC A to D bands and the ability to operate on both ac voltage – at either 50 or 60 Hz – and dc voltage enhance the range of applications for which the NCN49597can be used. This means a single device is suitable for all types of electrical power grid. Ten configurable general purpose inputs / outputs (GPIOs) allow connection to peripherals such as lcds and metering ics and alleviate the need for external microcontrollers in applications such as smart plugs. The NCN49597 comes with open source PLC platform code and development environment.

ON Semiconductor also offers a PLC communication reference design kit including a power line driver helping customers to speed up their time to market. The NCS5650 is a 2A high efficiency class A/B power line driver that provides flexible 4th order filtering and current limiting, programmable with a single resistor.

"This innovative new device builds on ON Semiconductor's 10 years of experience in the field of e-metering and offers a versatile and robust solution for enabling communications in the important and rapidly expanding smart grid market sector," said Ryan Cameron, vp of industrial and timing products at ON Semiconductor. "Compatibility with our previous device for this sector plus full compliance with industry standards and the use of proven technology such as the ARM Cortex M0 processor make the utilisation of the NCN49597 a straightforward process."

The NCN49597 operates from a 3.3V power supply, has a junction operating temperature range of -40 to 125ºC and is housed in a QFN-52 package measuring 8 x 8 x 1mm.

Simon Fogg

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