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March 7, 2013Atmel Acquires IDT’s Smart Metering Product Line To Broaden Smart Energy Portfolio
October 10, 2012Atmel and Labelec SA (EDP) Sign Memorandum of Understanding for Development of PRIME-Compliant Smart Metering Solutions
October 9, 2012Atmel Showcases World’s First Cortex-M4 Processor-Based Single-Chip Solution for PRIME Smart Metering Applications
From Metering to the Smart Grid
The market for energy, water, and gas metering systems is rapidly changing, driven by new environmental and conservation concerns and regulations. Traditional standalone meters are now being replaced by complex networked systems that utilize a variety of communication methods. To meet the needs of this evolving smart grid, metering developers need solutions that can provide:
- Intelligent support for application and communication stacks
- Robust security functionality
- Remote upgrades in the field
- Support for communications protocols for home connectivity
Effective March 7, 2013, Atmel acquired IDT's smart energy product line, including its Metrology Analog Front End (AFE) and System-On-Chip (SoC) devices for single- and poly-phase energy meter businesses. At closing, Atmel acquired all existing IDT inventories for these products.
Solutions from Metering to the Smart Grid
Atmel® microcontroller- (MCU-) based metering solutions demonstrate our deep expertise in power line communications (PLC), delivering low power, connectivity, security and analog acquisition for a range of metering applications:
- Electricity Meters — Solid-state electricity meters—which provide energy and power measurement and data display—are evolving, and different solutions/architectures are used around the world. Some meters may require battery operation with real time clock (RTC) running when the product is not connected to a power main, to support features like "read without power".
- Gas and Water Meters — Unlike electricity meters, gas and water meters are battery-operated, so power efficiency is a key requirement. Gas and water meters provide fluid measurement, data display on a small segment LCD and RTC.
- Data Concentrators — These products are used in the AMR and AMI architecture to collect information and data, often from multiple meters, before forwarding the data to the utility. They are heavily used in densely populated areas.
- In-Home Display Units — In-home display (IHD) units are key to reducing energy usage by providing energy customers with real-time energy consumption feedback.
The Atmel Advantage
Atmel is well-positioned to offer solutions on smart grid communications networks, with our RF transceivers and free software stacks, such as ZigBee PRO, 6loWPAN and Smart Energy Profile. Our serial EEPROM family supports memory expansion for data logging, code shadowing and remote firmware upgrades. Solutions for WiFi are also available with our partner, H&D.
Our complete portfolio of AVR® 8- and 32-bit microcontrollers and AT91SAM ARM® processor-based microcontrollers, as well as microprocessors, are the core of smart grid components. Our technology solutions are surrounded by a strong ecosystem that includes software libraries, development tools, evaluation kits and other design resources. Atmel offers:
- Complete Portfolio — Atmel provides a one-stop shop for metering solutions, including MCUs, PLC system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, RF, memory, security, middleware, reference designs and demonstration kits.
- Wide Range of ICs — We offer a wide variety of options, including 8- and 32-bit MCUs, from 6-pin Atmel tinyAVR® devices to megaAVR®, AVR XMEGA®, 32-bit AVR, Cortex™-M3, ARM7, and ARM9 solutions running at 400MHz. Our PLC SoCs come in full digital implementations, delivering best-in-class sensitivity, high temperature stability and high performance. Atmel also launched the first Cortex-M4 processor-based solution, the SAM4SP32A, for PLC smart metering applications.
- Power Efficiency — Atmel picoPower® technology, available in many of our AVR MCUs, ensures that devices are built from the ground up for ultra-low power.
- Connectivity — Our solutions support SPI, USART and TWI through USB and hosts to RF solutions.
- Security and Encryption — Atmel CryptoAuthentication™ chips offer robust security to safeguard networked metering applications
- Industry-Leading Touch — With Atmel touch technology, you can implement everything from simple button replacements to state-of-the-art touchscreens for in-home display units.
- Broad Protocol Support — We offer a wide variety of product options to support ZigBee and Smart Energy Profile, with 802.15.4 radio transceivers supporting both 2.4GHz and sub 1GHz, that can be used with our full range of MCUs running the ZigBee stacks. We can also offer a software-on-a-chip solution.