Power Electronics
Single-Chip, Grid-Connected Signal Controller

Single-Chip, Grid-Connected Signal Controller

The SM2480 from Semitech Semiconductor is a single-chip, grid-connected signal controller. The SM2480 is ideal for solar inverters, smart lighting LED ballasts, home and building automation and other SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and grid-connected applications.

The SM2480 integrates standards-based universal N-PLC with analog signal monitoring, control functions and peripherals – reportedly making it the first chip in the world to offer all of the functions required for grid-connected micro inverter implementation. Integrating the connectivity function with the control functions significantly reduces the cost of a solar micro-inverter design, enabling a cost effective, power efficient and smaller system architecture, which is critical for the mass deployment of micro-inverter-based solar systems and smart ballasts.

The SM2480 is a member of Semitech's SM24xx family that leverages the same architecture and expands the communication capabilities of the SM2400 N-PLC modem to a fully-integrated analog & PWM controller with grid connectivity. As with all devices in the SM24xx family, the SM2480 features a dual-core architecture. Dedicating one core to the system control application and a second core to guarantee superior communication performance, the SM2480 maintains flexibility and programmability for OFDM-based standards and extremely robust proprietary communication schemes specifically tailored for industrial applications. Both cores are supported by full development systems to facilitate the implementation of proprietary application-specific control and monitoring algorithms.

Features include:

·         Dual-core 32 bit architecture

·         High speed PWM with 6 channels of outputs with programmable pairing modes and independent settings

·         4 comparators with independent references and programmable fault detection

·         Dual-signal monitoring ADC with 8x input multiplexing and simultaneous sampling of voltage/current pairs

·         High-performing custom N-PLC DSP engine with embedded turnkey firmware

The SM2480 comes with a reference design (both hardware and firmware) implementing a micro-inverter and a user friendly PC based Graphic User Interface for real-time monitoring of the performance over N-PLC. The reference design includes a number of firmware options implementing various N-PLC schemes, such as IEEE 1901.2, PRIME, G3-PLC, and other special modes tailored for SCADA and smart grid applications. The chip is now sampling, with production to commence later this year. 

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