Microchip Technology introduced the PIC24F GA3 family of eXtreme Low Power (XLP) microcontrollers. The PIC24F GA3 devices feature the industry’s lowest active current for 16-bit Flash MCUs, new low-power sleep modes, 150 microamperes/MHz active current, six DMA channels, and VBAT for battery backup of the on-chip Real-Time Clock Calendar. The Microchip PIC24F GA3 is priced at less than $1.99. The microcontrollers are ideal for consumer (thermostats, door locks, home automation), industrial (security, wired and wireless sensors, industrial controls), medical (portable medical devices, diagnostic equipment), and metering (e-Meters, energy monitoring, gas/water/heat meters, automated meter reading) applications.
Semitech Semiconductor introduced their SM2101 FSK/BPSK based power line transceiver. The SM2101 is ideal for Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) applications. The SM2101 is based on the SM6401. However, the SM2101 does not include embedded Flash and application microcontroller (MCU) to lower the cost for high volume PLC applications on low or medium voltage power line networks. The SM2101 is now sampling.
Semitech Semiconductor launched the SM2200 OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) based power line transceiver. The smart grid SM2200 includes a packet data modem with a simple physical layer protocol. When combined with a microcontroller (MCU), the chip is a cost effective solution for data links and point-to-point, star or ad hoc networks. The SM2200 IC is ideal for metering infrastructure and automated meter reading, street lighting control, smart energy home area networking, home automation, building automation, and other deployments requiring communications over an existing power line. The OFDMA power line communication transceiver is sampling now.
Freescale Semiconductor announced the MCF51EM256, MC9S08LH64, and MC9S08GW64 microcontroller (MCU) reference designs for electricity and flow meters. Freescale’s microcontrollers enable smart meters to be designed with tamper detection mechanisms and real time usage monitoring. Freescale’s MCF51EM256 device for single and three-phase electricity meters are available now for suggested resale pricing of $3.97 (USD) for quantities of 10,000 units. The MC9S08LH64 devices are available for suggested resale pricing of $2.79 (USD) for quantities of 10,000 units. General availability of the MC9S08GW64 products will be announced later this year.
Microchip Technology introduced the MCP3901 Analog Front End (AFE) for metering applications. The MCP3901 AFE features high-accuracy, dual 16-/24-bit Delta-Sigma Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) with up to 91 dB Signal to Noise and Distortion (SINAD), internal Programmable Gain Amplifiers (PGAs) and voltage reference, phase-delay compensation, and a modulator output block that enables more precise measurements than competitive solutions. The MCP3901 AFE is available in a 20-pin SSOP package, for $1.42 each in 10,000-unit quantities.