Atmel Launches G3-PLC-compliant Powerline Carrier Solutions for Smart Energy Applications

Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ: ATML), a global leader in microcontroller (MCU) and touch solutions, will debut two new Power-line Communication (G3- PLC) solutions compliant with the G3-PLC specification at the European Utility Week 2014 to be held November 4-6 in Amsterdam.

The new Atmel® G3-PLC products include the SAM4CP16C System-on-Chip (SoC) and ATPL250A modem that are pin-compatible with PRIME-compliant members of the Atmel | SMART portfolio of energy metering solutions already in production. The SoC option is similar to the rest of the SAM4Cx products built around a dual-core 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 architecture with advanced security, metrology and wireless and power-line communications (PLC) options. This unique and highly flexible platform addresses OEM’s requirements for flexible system partitioning, lower bill of materials (BOM) and improved time-to-market.  

“Utilities worldwide require OEMs to meet very high reliability standards at aggressive cost points for smart meters which embed advanced feature sets in connectivity, security and flexibility,” said Colin Barnden, principal analyst, Semicast Research. “Additionally, smart meters to be deployed in several countries are required to be certified for compliance with the latest specifications including G3-PLC, PRIME and IEEE 802.15.4g. Atmel’s smart metering solutions now meet the required criteria for emerging standards based smart metering deployments from a reliability, performance, interoperability and cost perspective.”

The new products address the European (CENELEC), American (FCC) and Japanese (ARIB) profiles defined by the G3-PLC Alliance.  Atmel is an active participant in the G3-PLC Alliance certification program and expects full CENELEC certification this November followed by FCC and ARIB band certifications in the coming months.

A distinguishing feature of the ATPL250A and SAM4CP16C is an integrated Class-D line driver, which provides outstanding signal injection efficiency and improved thermal characteristics compared to competing technologies. This will help eliminate reliability issues encountered in the field as a result of thermal overheating. Additionally, common architecture, software environment and tools ensure that our customers’ R&D investments can be shared and re-utilized over multiple projects which address various connectivity standards.

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