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Industry’s first smart-meter System-on-Chip metering system launched

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article image STCOMET10 brings smart-grid benefits to life with industry’s first smart-meter SoC

World-leading semiconductors specialist, ST Microelectronics announces the industry’s first complete smart-meter System-on-Chip (SoC) that combines precision metering with flexible, programmable processing and PLC subsystems along with advanced security in a single device.

Leveraging ST’s expertise in PLC and smart-meter ICs gained over 20 years and via more than 90 million devices delivered, the STCOMET10 SoC delivers unprecedented integration, and offers OEMs a unique future-proof platform to simplify smart-meter design, reduce time-to-market, and significantly reduce component count and bill-of-materials costs.

ST has worked closely with utility companies and meter manufacturers to develop the STCOMET10 SoC, which already has a major role in the €27 million SOGRID project in France to develop a comprehensive communication system supporting smart grid applications.

Leveraging a unique modular and integrated mixed-signal design, the STCOMET10 offers high system flexibility and programmability along with high performance for specialised smart-metering functions in a single chip.

According to Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President and General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, ST Microelectronics, as an extremely cost-effective and flexible smart-meter solution, STCOMET10 has a key role in realising the advantages of the smart grid, including real-time control and adaptability of the grid, integration of decentralised generation from renewable energy sources, and support for multiple communication standards. 

He adds there is scope for over 1.7 billion communicating devices globally connected to the smart grid. STCOMET10 greatly increases the prospects for interoperability among these devices promoting more efficient utilisation of energy resources.

Key features of the STCOMET10 SoC include a dedicated fully programmable PLC signal-processing engine for multi-protocol management, a state-of-the-art ARM Cortex-M4 based application-processing subsystem with program Flash and RAM, a high-accuracy 3-channel analogue and digital metering front-end, and security engine. 

The smart-meter SoC also supports important PLC protocols such as METERS AND MORE, G3-PLC, IEEE 1901.2 and PRIME. Its flexibility and broad protocol support allow worldwide deployment and remote reconfiguration to support new protocols in the future, minimising lifetime ownership costs for operators.

The metering subsystem exceeds Class 0.2 meter requirements, combining three high-accuracy 24-bit A-to-D converters, integrated filters, and a configurable hardwired DSP for energy calculations. The integrated PLC engine supports output signals up to 28V peak-to-peak and has extended bandwidth of up to 500kHz, while the dedicated security engine supports state-of-the-art cryptography and multiple security modes for privacy and anti-hacking protection, enhancing the SoC’s value.

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