With eleven awards presented to Solution Providers and Utilities, the winners were carefully selected by an independent judging panel of industry experts prior to this year’s Smart Metering UK & Europe Summit in London on the 24th January 2013.
The award is recognition of Renesas’ achievement in implementing a PLC modem solution that meets today’s most important market requirements. The solution is based on a highly flexible concept. The combined hardware architecture and software framework allows for flexible standards support. All layers are remotely programmable, assuring upgradeability to future versions of existing and emerging standards. The flexibility is also required due to the fact that smart meter specifications from various countries, or even from various utilities within one country, differ with respect to communication standards as well as application requirements.
The platform is based on a highly integrated narrowband modem system-on-chip (uPD809504), integrating a MAC controller and high performance digital signal processor (DSP) for physical layer (PHY) implementation. It is combined with an embedded analogue front end (AFE) that includes an adaptive gain amplifier with automatic gain control (AGC) functions and an embedded AES128 hardware security engine. The solution offers leading communication robustness over power lines, showing unique sensitivity characteristics. Furthermore, it shows unique overall power consumption. This achievement was imperative for Renesas Electronics as power consumption goes hand in hand with CO2 emission, which is one of the key issues addressed by the introduction of smart metering / grid infrastructures.
These characteristics have been achieved by using extremely efficient process technologies that show superior performance in terms of integration density as well as power consumption. The outstanding robustness is the result of the extremely effective analogue front end (AFE) design, including mechanisms for signal pre-amplification and control. The implementation of effective algorithms for the software modulation contributes to both of the above.
Coupled with a Renesas RX family 32-bit microcontroller (MCU), offering an impressive 1.65DMIPS/MHz performance, zero-wait 100MHz Flash memory and a peripheral mix highly tuned to smart grid applications, this solution offers not only support for the most advanced communications protocols, but also complete system control.
The solution will be delivered with fully certified software libraries.