Data concentrators are used with automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) architectures. They collect information and data, often from multiple meters, before forwarding the data to the utility. Concentrators are heavily used in densely-populated areas.
Some AMI architectures might utilize a multi-utility communications unit or communications gateway at each home, instead of a meter, to support the home-area networks (HAN) and wide area networks (WAN). These products connect to a data concentrator, which manages anywhere from 10 to 2000 devices, depending on architecture and the communication medium adapted.
Atmel® microcontrollers provide the necessary connectivity and processing power for data concentrators, multi-utility communications (MUC) devices, and communications gateways.
Features and Benefits
- Multiple connectivity options include Ethernet, multiple UARTs, USB, and SDIO
- Selected Atmel AVR® microcontrollers support USB and OTG, full or high-speed Atmel solutions also support a variety of USB classes, including CDC, HID, MS and DFU.
- Power line communications (PLC) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with full digital implementation deliver high performance, high temperature stability and best-in-class sensitivity
- Robust processing power supports application functionality
- Atmel CryptoAuthentication™ products provide a cost-effective, easy-to-implement security solution that is critical for wireless communication, all the while operating at a very low standby power levels
- RF transceivers enable intelligent connectivity
- Non-volatile serial memory enables data logging
Data concentrators are usually positioned in transformer centers, and collect communications from several different homes for transfer to the utility. Not all of the above communications examples will be supported on any one unit. Communications depend on the AMI architecture implemented.
Some AMR and AMI architectures do not use a smart electricity meter as the hub of the home system, but instead utilize multi-utility communications (MUC) and communications gateways. These products can connect to a single home-area network, or can look after several in an apartment block. MUCs and communications gateways usually supply a bridge between the HAN and WAN, and will connect to data concentrators.
Atmel solutions deliver the robust processing power and solid security that is key for critical communications.
Learn more about the Atmel solution Application Notes, Devices, and Tools and Software