Analog Devices, Inc. has acquired power-line communications technology to add to its portfolio of products for energy-metering applications. Analog Devices has acquired the PowerBUS(tm) RHINO power-line communications technology and all related patents, hardware, and software from Domosys Corporation, a privately held company based in Quebec City, Canada. This technology is effective for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems utilities need for "smart-grid" applications that acquire and communicate consumption information for electricity, gas, and water. AMI systems provide two-way meter communications, allowing instructions to be sent to residences for multiple purposes, including "real-time" pricing data, demand-response actions, or remote service disconnects.
Power-line communications can transform any stand-alone meter into a device that can be controlled or monitored either locally or remotely. Signals are sent and received over existing power lines or twisted-pair wires, reducing the need for the installation of new wires or the building of new infrastructure. ADI will develop new products incorporating the PowerBUS RHINO technology and announce these offerings under the Analog Devices brand later this year.
Analog Devices' energy-metering ICs combine ADCs (analog-to-digital converters) with fixed-function DSPs (digital signal processors) to perform critical measurements, while providing unparalleled functionality and ease-of-use. Analog Devices offers a broad range of semiconductor solutions that solve design challenges in every aspect of metering systems, including energy measurement; data and power management; user interface; and RF, GSM/GPRS, and power-line carrier communication solutions.