Geneva, Switzerland: STMicroelectronics is powering the global shift to smarter energy consumption and management with its new modular Power-Line Communication (PLC) modem chipset. The chipset will provide more flexibility to manufacturers of utility meters, smart-grid nodes, streetlamps, and home and industrial controllers. Three leading global smart-meter manufacturers are already designing solutions based on this new platform.
A turnkey solution, the chipset consolidates protocol handling to package and adapt data so it can be transmitted and line driving for sending over mains wires. It enables customers to implement powerline communications cost-effectively, either as part of new designs or as the core of an add-on module on older devices. The solution is also a perfect fit for markets with specific regulatory requirements. In these scenarios, the ST PLC-modem chipset acts as an external communication module that interfaces with either the existing or a new metering or controlling device. In addition, flexible programmability allows multiple product variants to share a common hardware foundation and permits software updating in the field to further lower cost of ownership.
Market research firm IHS Markit says the industry is shipping more than 100 million smart meters a year and expects a market growth of more than 8 percent through 2021.