Power Electronics

Kit Powers Next-Generation Electricity Meters

STMicroelectronics has released a kit of semiconductor components for Enel’s static electricity meters. Enel, one of the world’s major electricity companies and the main operator in Italy, in 2001 launched a unique and challenging project in advanced automated meter management (AMM) system solutions and the fully supported ST kit has been produced to address this application.

“ST is proud to supply the complete kit of products and technologies that are required for this exciting application, from the critical power-line modem function to the microcontrollers, embedded memories, real-time clock chips, smart-power supply chips and discrete devices that this application needs,” said Enrico Villa, STMicroelectronics corporate vice president, Europe Region. “In addition, our specialized Competence Centers ensure that expert applications support is available worldwide to all customers working in the emerging field of remote metering.”

At the heart of the kit is ST’s ST7538, a single-chip power-line communications FSK (frequency shift keying) transceiver, which integrates the FSK modem function that allows the meter to talk to the utility’s offices, a power amplifier and a variety of frequency synthesis, core logic, voltage regulation and input/output functions.

Another key component is the µPSD3200, a member of ST’s family of Programmable System Devices that integrates a 40-MHz, industry-standard microcontroller along with up to 288-kbytes of dual-bank Flash memory, 32-kbytes of SRAM, a Flash-based CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device) and a JTAG ISP (in-system programming) interface to simplify testing. The µPSD3200 offers the world’s largest memory densities for 8051-class microcontrollers.

The kit also includes the VIPer (Switched-Mode Power Supply) chip built with ST’s proprietary VIPower smart-power technology and the M41T56M6, one of ST’s many Low Power Consumption Real-Time Clock/Calendar devices that feature integrated battery switchover and write-protect functions plus software calibration for high-accuracy time-management features of the system.

For more information, visit www.st.com.

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