Texas Instruments connects the smart grid with a new modular and scalable smart meter system solution with multiple communication protocols

Enabling developers to add multiple connectivity, processor and metrology options to their smart meter designs, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) today announced a modular and scalable Smart Meter Board (SMB) development platform that supports one-phase to three-phase smart electricity meters with the smart grid's most prolific communications protocols. The Smart Meter Board is an innovative development platform that incorporates key smart grid devices from TI's broad portfolio of embedded, analog and connectivity solutions to demonstrate the capabilities of a smart meter.

The SMB is a unique modular and scalable environment that lets developers include 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. Developers using the Smart Meter Board development platform benefit from TI's robust smart grid software libraries when implementing key communication standards and typical utility meter functions. The software libraries, combined with TI's Smart Meter Board, let developers choose which development tool matches their project needs.

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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