ST Augments Smart-Meter Chipset with Wireless Feature

TMicroelectronics has combined powerline and wireless communication in its market-proven smart-meter chipset, thus facilitating smarter city and industry infrastructures.

Already widely used in smart electricity meters, ST’s ST8500 powerline communication (PLC) chipset now enables smart meters to communicate through existing power cables or radio frequency (RF) waves, combining the strengths of both types of connection.

Where power lines may be too noisy for PLC, or where local regulations dictate, equipment makers can now implement wireless and PLC quickly and efficiently using ST8500. In addition, with the built-in RF capability, equipment designers can leverage ST8500’s high feature integration and ease of use in other smart devices, such as gas and water smart meters, environmental monitors, lighting controllers, and industrial sensors.

ADD Grup, a European smart-metering solutions company, is the first to announce new hybrid PLC/wireless products that contain this enhanced chipset. “With wireless support now fully integrated in the ST8500 firmware, ST’s chipset is the perfect platform to enhance network performance, reliability, capacity, and scalability for our innovative electricity meters,” said Ruslan Casico, Head of Sales and Marketing at ADD Grup. “The hybrid PLC/wireless connectivity of these new products has helped us win important metering projects in EMEA, Russia, and Asia.”

Domenico Arrigo, General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics, added, “ADD Grup is leading the deployment of our chipset in the next generation of smart meters. By supporting RF communication alongside the leading PLC protocols, our market-proven chipset enables smart city and industry infrastructures worldwide to deliver more of their potential for saving the planet’s resources and enhancing control and efficiency.”