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Smart Meter Industry Game Changer with Advanced Chip Family

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 7:43am
Accent announced its second generation ASMgridTM standard product family targeted at the demanding performance needs required by Smart Meters. ASMgrid2TM incorporates optimized flexibility to support and track next-generation home-area-network (HAN) and near-area-network (NAN) communication standards including IEEE 802.15.4g, G1 and G3, PRIME, IEEE 1901.2, home area networking with IEEE 802.15.4. The ASSPs feature breakthrough system capability to address the demanding performance, cost, and scalability needs of Smart Grid equipment manufacturers.

While Smart Grid trials and deployments are in full force in many parts of the world, solution providers are still defining more advanced communication standards and product features which would be required in electric meters. Unfortunately, silicon solutions available today fall short in either providing support for newer technologies or doing so in both a cost effective and scalable manner. The ASMgrid2 product family reconciles these competing forces through market leading silicon integration and technology innovation at the architectural and design level.

To provide complete advanced smart meter solutions, the ASMgrid2 system-on-chip architecture encompasses a broad range of technologies including high-precision analog-front-ends, RF transceivers, non-volatile memories, and processing capabilities needed to run required protocol stacks and vendor application software. Each one of the three devices in the ASMgrid2 product family contains an ARM® processor for unmatched performance, code density, and development capability. In addition to other processing, the ARM processors are also used in combination with hardware acceleration for Accent’s SUNFXTM modems, providing adaptable solutions for still evolving utility communication standards.

"We're delighted Accent is adopting Cortex-M and ARM9 series processors as key technology elements in what is certain to be a significant enabler for the smart grid industry," said Eric Schorn, VP Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "The ARM architecture provides an ideal low-power processing solution to meet the sensitive performance and cost needs of smart meters that are expected to operate for periods up to 20 years on a single battery."

"The ASMgrid2 standard product family represents industry-first solutions in terms of technology, integration, and feature set specifically designed to Smart Meter deployments occurring in North America and Europe," said Federico Arcelli, CEO of Accent. "The ASMgrid2 innovative ASSP family represents compelling solutions for equipment manufacturers seeking to support the latest and future meter communication technologies with built-in system scalability plus rich feature set to address their long product life cycles." Page 2 of 3

PRODUCT DETAILS Product Name

ASM201  

ASM211  

ASM221  

Processor  

ARM ARM926EJ-S  

ARM Cortex-M0  

ARM Cortex-M3  

MHz  

192 MHz  

88 MHz  

88 MHz  

Cache  

8 KB/8 KB I$/D$  

Direct mapped on Flash  

Direct mapped on Flash  

On-chip Memory  

32 MB Flash, 64 KB SRAM  

64 MB Flash, 32 KB SRAM, 16 KB ROM  

512 MB Flash, 64 KB SRAM  

Off-chip Memory Support  

SDRAM/Parallel and Serial Flash/SRAM  

Serial Flash  

SDRAM/Parallel Flash/SRAM  

Energy Measurement  

Single-phase w/ tamper 0.1% accuracy, 2000:1 dynamic range  

-  

Single-phase w/ tamper 0.1% accuracy, 2000:1 dynamic range  

LCD  

Up to 128 pixels, 3 and 5 V support  

-  

LCD On-Glass support  

Home Area Support  

2.4 GHz, 802.15.4 (ZigBee PRO, SEP2.0 Ready)

250 Kbps  

-  

Support via serial interface  

Near Area Support  

Protocol stack processing  

915 MHz, 802.15.4g 800 Kbps  

G3(and G1), PRIME, IEEE1901.2 128 Kbps  

Power Management  

uA system standby operation

(2 KB retention RAM)  

Stop and reduced-power listen mode  

uA system standby operation

(1 KB retention RAM)  

Security  

AES accelerator, memory protection, secured ports  

Secured ports  

AES accelerator, memory protection, secured ports  

Package  

196LFBGA, 240BGA  

56QFN  

128QFP, 196LFBGA  


 

ASM201 – ASMgrid2 SYSTEM-ON-CHIP FOR SMART HOME, COMMUNICATION, AND METER PROCESSING
To satisfy the increased processing and every expanding memory needs required in smart metering, Accent offers the ASM201. The device’s unprecedented integration replaces as many as five ICs for unparalleled system capability and significant cost reduction compared to alternative solutions. In addition to an integrated IEEE 2.4 GHz RF transceiver, the ASM201 incorporates ample performance for a complete communication processing solution, for the home area and near area networking, as well as for meter application stacks. Battery-mode operation is supported by microamp standby modes as well as latch-based RAM for quickest power-down with retained state information.

ASM211 – ASMgrid2 SYSTEM-ON-CHIP SUB-GHZ TRANSCEIVER FOR ADVANCED RF MESH NETWORKS
For meter-to-meter wireless mesh networking, dominant in North America, Accent offers the ASM211 as a companion device for ASM201 or for operation with other MCU offerings. The chip’s RF transceiver and software-based, hardware accelerated Accent SUNFXTM-4G modem is the industry’s first PHY solution to support the draft IEEE 802.15.4g standard’s mandatory FSK modes and high-data rate, OFDM options for 800 Kbps operation and a sensitivity of -118 dBm. The flexible solution also offers support for existing FSK-based proprietary products.  

ASM221 – ASMgrid2 SYSTEM-ON-CHIP FOR OFDM POWERLINE AND SMART METER PROCESSING
The ASM221 addresses next generation metering needs for countries in Europe, as well as others, requiring advanced OFDM powerline communication including G3, PRIME, and IEEE1901.2. The ASM221 only requires a few discrete components and high-voltage line driver, providing the industry’s first single-chip meter solution for these applications. The Accent SUNFXTM-PLC modem, similar in approach to SUNFX-4G, also provides G1(S-FSK) support for backward compatibility. As with the ASM201, the ASM221 incorporates advanced low-power features for battery-mode operation as well required performance and memory for a single processing meter solution.

Availability
Product sampling is expected to begin in Q4 2011 for the ASMgrid2 ASSP family.

 About Accent
Founded in 1993, Accent (www.accent-soc.com) is an ISO 9001:2008 certified world leading semiconductor supplier of communications and metering technologies for the Smart Grid industry. The company is backed by renowned investors such as Sofinnova Partners and Tallwood Venture Capital. Accent is a worldwide operation with offices in Italy, China, France, and United States. Accent's ASMgrid product families integrate the widest technology breadth supporting current and future Smart Grid standards to provide equipment manufacturers off-the-shelf standard products plus complete software platforms for rapid time to market and significantly lowered production costs.


Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Associate Editor

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