TI TMS320F28x Controllers Enable Adaptive Networks' PowerConnect PLC

12/7/2005 - Bringing reliable high data throughput to networked industrial, utility, and commercial control and monitoring, Adaptive Networks has announced the development of a new family of powerline communications (PLC) products enabled by Texas Instruments (TI) TMS320F28xTM digital signal controllers. The new PowerConnectTM series of PLC solutions provides robust network communications through powerlines over distances up to 50 kilometers, for outstanding performance in a variety of control and monitoring applications in industrial and other rugged environments, including utility metering. PowerConnect solutions leverage the real-time performance and cost-efficiency of TI's F28xTM controllers, making the benefits of reliable high-speed PLC affordable to a much wider range of applications than those supported by competing products. Based on TI's digital signal processor (DSP) technology, F28x controllers offer a unique combination of 150 MIPS of 32-bit control-optimized performance, system integration and microcontroller- (MCU) like ease-of-use. For more information on TI's PLC solutions, please see www.ti.com/c2000plc.

Unlike conventional wired data networks that use dedicated transmission lines, Adaptive Networks' PLC networks use F28x controller-enabled PowerConnect products to transmit and receive data via existing low-, medium-,and high-voltage powerlines. This innovative, single chip PLC technology offers reliable throughput of 19.2 kilobits per second (kbps) to full-scale networks over a wide area in harsh environments and makes it possible to monitor and control all nodes within a network. In factories, utility distribution systems, office complexes, mines, sub-sea cabling, and other rugged settings, PowerConnect's high transmission rate for robust real-time communications over existing powerline infrastructure eliminates the need to deploy additional wiring for control and monitoring. F28x controllers offer the performance flexibility that, in many cases, will allow PowerConnect system developers to integrate the application on the same hardware platform as the communications. For example, the Power Connect PLC functions could be combined with electronic utility metering, or lighting ballast control for an office building, and integrated onto one F28x controller.

Adaptive Networks is a leader in powerline communications technology, with more than twenty years of PLC research, development and manufacturing. Adaptive Networks' PLC products are currently used for material handling on factory floors, utility control, monitoring, and metering, shipboard communications, mining, and long distance sub-sea cabling for oil and gas production, among many applications. PowerConnect solutions extend Adaptive Networks field-proven Pro-LineTM technology, an ISO standard for refrigerated container monitoring on ships and an IEC standard for automated meter reading, to a cost-effective solution for high volume applications such as utility meter reading and lighting control. New PowerConnect solutions are designed to extend Adaptive Networks' groundbreaking PLC technology to new application areas, as well as more widely within existing areas. For instance, in certain applications PowerConnect products can be used in networks over distances of several kilometers; new solutions targeting utilities will support networks over even greater distances. The types of systems that will benefit in the future include utility metering, lighting and motor control, shipping climate control, point-of-sale, wide-area control and monitoring of embedded applications, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

First Solution Now Available
The first of the new family of PowerConnect products, the AN192DPLTM available now is based on TI's TMS320F2810 controller and operates with a data communications rate of 19.2 kbps. Different versions of the family of PowerConnect products provide design flexibility by handling different carrier frequencies in the sub-500KHz frequency range, thus satisfying automated meter reading (AMR) requirements worldwide. Adaptive Networks plans to extend its digital signal controller-based technology to its other Pro-Line products that operate with different data rates up to 100 kbps, allowing developers to choose for their systems the level of throughput performance that matches the available frequency allocation and requirements of their markets.

"The new DSP controller-based PowerConnect product line will bring our customers greater flexibility, high-volume price points, and the ability to integrate their applications along with our field-tested PLC technology," said Michael Propp, president and founder. "With its high performance and ease of development, TI's F2810 controller enables us to address a new range of control and monitoring, and metering applications at the right price point."

Extending PLC Technology Through DSP-Based Control
Adoption of TI's F28x controller platform provides a cost-effective means to extend Adaptive Networks' PLC technology to new applications through high-volume manufacturing. Along with advanced DSP cores, the controllers integrate robust peripherals such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), timers and pulse-width-modulation (PWM). This high level of system integration simplifies design and keeps control systems compact and cost-efficient. MCU-like instructions and on-chip flash memory enables rapid prototyping for fast time to market.

"PowerConnect PLC products from Adaptive Networks illustrate the value of combining 32-bit digital signal processing with the design flexibility of an MCU," said Andrew Soukup, TMS320C2000TM world-wide marketing manager, TI. "F28x controllers offer leading control-optimized signal processing performance and system-level integration at an affordable price."

Pricing and Availability
The 19.2 kbps throughput AN192DPL is now available from Adaptive Networks, as a ROM-coded chip, module, and as licensable software for high-volume production. A reference design is also available to help simplify system development. Developer products based on the reference design and manufactured in quantities over100K units are expected to have a bill of materials per unit of less than $10.00.

TI Enables Innovation with Broad Range of Controllers
From ultra-low-power MCUs based on the MSP430 platform, to 32-bit general-purpose ARM7-based MCUs from the TMS470 platform, to the high-performance TMS320C2000TM DSP platform of digital signal controllers, TI offers designers the broadest range of embedded control solutions. Designers can also accelerate their design time to market by tapping into TI's complete software and hardware tools, extensive third-party offerings and technical support. For more information on the broad range of TI's controllers, see www.ti.com/mcu.

About TI
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers' real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company's businesses include Sensors & Controls, and Educational & Productivity Solutions. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries. Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN.

About Adaptive Networks
Adaptive Networks provides powerline communications technologies to meet our customers' requirements of reliable, high throughput network communications over existing powerlines in harsh industrial and commercial environments. without the expense, time and complexity of installing dedicated wire. Applications include the utility grid, mining, sub-sea cabling, shipboard container monitoring, lighting control, and industrial automation.

TMS320C2000 is a trademark of Texas Instruments. AN192DPL, PowerConnect, and Pro-Line are trademarks of Adaptive Networks.

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