ST Microelectronics is a leading semiconductor manufacturer and a major supplier of power management solutions worldwide.
ST’s new STarGRID ST7590 power-line communication (PLC) System-on-Chip (SoC) is being used in advanced Automatic Meter Management (AMM) equipment in the new STAR Project in Spain.
Based on the PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) standard, the STAR Project is the smart metering infrastructure program from the IBERDROLA utility company.
By early 2011, approximately 100,000 PRIME-compliant smart meters would be installed by IBERDROLA in the city of Castellon in Spain in the first deployment. More than 10 million meters are expected to be deployed over the next few years in Spain.
The AMM equipment that employs ST’s STarGRID ST7590 SoC has passed all PRIME-compliancy certification tests performed by KEMA, the international certification body.
The ST7590 SoC is the latest device in ST’s STarGRID family, which offers a flexible, scalable and future-proof power-line communication platform that can be easily adapted to different smart grid application needs and protocol standards.
In addition, the platform optimises power consumption and system cost significantly more effectively than solutions based on multipurpose standalone DSPs, which require additional external Analogue Front End and Power Line Driver components.
Pietro Menniti, VP and General Manager, Industrial Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics says that ST’s selection as the silicon technology provider for the STAR Project in Spain is a significant testament to their leading-edge know-how in this field.
A breakthrough in power-line communication technology, STarGrid offers a flexible System-on-Chip platform meeting major worldwide smart metering and smart grid standards.
The high level of integration and flexibility of STarGRID allows key customers to simplify their product designs and significantly reduce bill-of-materials costs.
Key features of the STarGRID ST7590 SoC
- Built using ST’s advanced BCD8 smart power technology
- Allows the integration of an optimised DSP engine for different modulation schemes and physical layer services management
- Digital 8-bit industrial microcontroller core for system supervision and protocol stack management
- Optional integration of specific functions such as a dedicated hardware accelerator and built-in channel quality estimation feature increases system performance and capabilities
- Integration of full analogue front end and high linear power-amplifier blocks reduces both the system bill of material and the customer development effort
- Platform also includes the ST758x family, which performs innovative dual-channel communication with n-PSK modulation schemes up to 28.8kbps
- Ideal for applications in automatic meter reading, street lighting control, electric vehicle networking, home area networking and sub-metering systems