In-home display (IHD) units provide energy customers with real-time energy consumption feedback. They are key to reducing energy usage.

IHD units can acquire consumption information through a sensor with built-in RF and/or PLC. However, a more effective solution transmits information from a smart meter via a home area network.

IHD units vary in complexity, from simple wall-mounted segment LCD displays, up to battery-operated products with color TFT displays and touchscreens. Advanced IHDs can display not only consumption information, but energy consumption advice from energy providers. They can also support additional functions such as home automation.

IHD units need to support displays, connectivity via USB and RF, low power and touch buttons or screens for an interactive user interface.

Features and Benefits

  • Range of microcontrollers, from entry-level 8-bit through to sophisticated ARM9 with embedded LCD graphics display controllers, provides flexibility to support any application
  • Flexible touch solutions, from buttons and wheels to sophisticated touchscreens, provide support for a wide range of user interface features and capabilities
  • Power line communications (PLC) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with full digital implementation deliver best-in-class sensitivity, high performance and high temperature stability
  • Atmel® CryptoAuthentication™ products provide a cost-effective, easy-to-implement security solution that is critical for the wireless communication between the meters and the IHD units
  • Power-efficient solutions support battery-operated products
    • 1 µA watchdog and brown-out
    • Atmel picoPower technology offers industry-leading solutions for extended battery life
    • Event system to allow measurement while CPU is in SLEEP mode
    • Support for true 1.6V operation
    • Lowest power 32 kHz crystal oscillator giving 650nA real-time clock (RTC) power consumption
  •  Low-power RF transceivers for connectivity

In-House Display can range from a basic segment LCD to a more sophisticated color TFT. The display choice drivers the processing power required and the main microcontroller can be either an entry-level 8- or 32-bit microcontroller, to a more powerful embedded MPU with on-chip TFT LCD controller. As products become more sophisticated, so will the user interface. Atmel touch technology provides robust support for state of the art features such as capacitive touch buttons or a full touchscreen.

The communications within the IHD depend on the implemented architecture of the HAN (typically RF or PLC). Wireless connectivity can also be supported via Secure Digital Input Output (SDIO) cards.

Atmel Products

MicrocontrollerHardware SecurityCommunicationsCapacitive Touch
AVR Solutions 8- and 32-bit

ARM®-Based Solutions:
CryptoAuthenticationPower Line Communications SoCs

Single-chip (Microcontroller and Transceiver)


ZigBit® Modules
Buttons, Sliders and Wheels

QTouch® library

maXTouch® Touchscreen controller

Learn more about the Atmel solution Application Notes, Devices, and Tools and Software.