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Power Line Communications

The smart grid implements two-way communication channels over existing power distribution networks. Modern networks might be comprised of a variety of new alternative energy sources. These sources include solar and wind power as well as new types of electric appliances, such as smart appliances and electric vehicles. In many parts of the world, narrowband power line communications (PLC) technology has proven to be a robust and cost-optimized solution in large deployments of smart meters.

Atmel® offers a family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) PLC solutions designed specifically for narrowband communications using the low-voltage electric grid. Drawing on our deep expertise in PLC modem technology and extensive collaboration with utilities and metering OEMs, we’ve created solutions offering an unprecedented level of integration and performance. Our solutions support various modulation schemes including the PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) specification, an open and multi-provider industry standard promoted by an industry alliance of more than 30 leading utilities, meter manufacturers, and silicon providers. – Atmel provides a free software stack that turns the management of PLC networks into a transparent process. You can focus on top-level applications and access the Atmel® PLC software stacks via user-friendly application programming interfaces (APIs).

Key Features

  • Best-in-class sensitivity and high-temperature stability.
  • Improved analog front end (AFE) providing outstanding efficiency.
  • Price-competitive, high-performance solutions.
  • Free software stacks for PLC

Power Line Communications Devices

Device Family Summary Benefit Applications Technologies Key Parameters

Best PRIME-certified SoC solution, including PRIME certified software stack

Compact, highly integrated, very low-power Cortex™-M4 processor-based solution

Outstanding analog front end offering best-in-class performance in terms of efficiency and sensitivity

Well-balanced solution in terms of bill of materials (BOM) cost vs. performance

Smart metering

Multi-carrier OFDM modulation for PLC

PRIME 1.4 compliant

Dual Cortex M4 processor

Dedicated 128 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) hardware encryption block

Optimized analog front end

PRIME 1.4 physical layer (PHY), medium access controller (MAC), IEEE P1901.2

Efficient digital line driver, FTM, MIMO, FCC, ARIB

100 MHz @core

1MB Flash, Crypto

128KB SRAM