Power Line Communication (PLC) is a communication method that uses power lines as the medium. By using power lines as the communication network, it is possible to build a system quickly at low cost. For this reason, PLC is used for communications in smart meters (advanced metering infrastructure - AMI), home energy management systems (HEMS), building energy management systems (BEMS), and solar panel monitoring systems, part of a smart society. Communication data can be propagated through AC or DC power lines.
Renesas offers power line communication solutions consisting of high-performance and flexible PLC devices, optimized evaluation boards, and a software stack that makes it easy to realize robust communication to support the development of projects.
- Can communicate where wireless communication is not possible. Can reduce or eliminate cables.
- Avoid noise interference and achieve high throughput by OFDM modulation.
- High security level by AES encryption and network authentication.
- Long distance direct communication up to over 1 kilometer by narrowband PLC with lower path loss.
- Even longer distance by multi-hop communication.
Applications for Power Line Communication Solutions
- Smart meter (AMI)
- Smart home and HEMS
- HVAC and lighting control
- Building automation
- EV charging station
- Solar power and smart grid
High Performance and Flexibility
Renesas offers a PLC modem that is compliant with global standards for power line communication (G3-CENELEC, ARIB, FCC, PRIME and other protocols). Renesas also offers a line driver that is designed to drive heavy line loads while maintaining a high level of linearity.
- High performance DSP at 276MHz provides an advanced communication algorithm based on extensive field experience.
- AES128 hardware engine for high level communication security.
- Drive heavy line loads with high linearity to realize long-distance communication.
- CPU + DSP dual core system supports various PLC protocols.
- Varied Renesas MCU lineup enables system optimization.
Optimized Evaluation Kits
Three evaluation boards optimized for different power line conditions are available. The CPX3 (J701) board has been certified by G3-PLC and PRIME alliance compliance testing. In addition, the CPX3 (J701) is used as a golden modem authorized by the G3-PLC Alliance. For AC power or DC power over 48V, the CPX3 Evaluation Kit J70D1 is available and for DC power under 48V, the CPX3 Evaluation Kit J80D1 (RX651 version that supports voice communication) and the CPX3 Evaluation Kit J80D2 (RL78 version) are available.
PLC Software Stack
Renesas offers power line communication software that is compliant with global standards for G3-PLC, PRIME, and Meters and More full stack to support multi-hop communication. Renesas also offers simple communication software based on the G3-PLC MAC layer. Choose from among these packages according to the needs of your system.
PLC Evaluation Tools
Communication signals on power lines may be affected by noise, line impedance and other factors, so analyzing the state of communications is important. Renesas and our partners offer evaluation tools that can visualize power line communication data and display an analysis of that data.
With the spread of smart meters and other smart devices, PLC network system complexity and scale are expected to increase. Several global alliances drive the standardization and creation of profiles for communication protocols that can ensure interconnectivity in these diversifying networks. Renesas has been a strong promoter of research and development and international standardization for these alliances since their establishment, and develops solutions that support each protocols.
Many companies offer products using Renesas PLC solutions.