TOKYO, Japan, October 21, 2015 — Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier provider of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced the launch of the third generation of its market leading orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) powerline communication (PLC) modem solution. The new solution is based on a modem system-on-chip (SoC), the R9A06G037, integrating a high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) and large-capacity SRAM, which realizes drastic improvement in communication software processing performance. A reference board incorporating the new SoC will also be available. Renesas also plans to provide communication software supporting any PLC protocol standard, such as PRIME1.3.6/1.4 and G3, for all global frequency bands including CENELEC A, FCC and ARIB.
Renesas' third generation of its flexible single-chip powerline modem solutions allows meter manufacturers to manage their key challenges more easily, as it helps significantly shorten time-to-market, minimize risk and maximize system cost efficiency. With its increased memory headroom and boosted protocol processing performance, new generation PLC protocols like PRIME 1.4 with full band-plan coverage can be supported. In addition, functions like dual-route communication can be implemented, helping customers to differentiate their products.
With the constant evolution of the metering market and the rise of smart meters, the metering manufacturers face many challenges in developing new smart grid systems including smart meters and concentrators to support ever changing needs. Governments and utility providers are drivers of this change and in many cases the tenders for the various mass deployments are divided into multiple tranches with different specifications and schedules. In response to this scenario, the meter manufacturers have to develop solutions to meet a rapid time to market requirement as well as a low total cost of ownership, at minimum risk. The clear solution is a flexible platform approach that meets the multiple PLC communications standards needed for pan-European and global solutions. The third generation of Renesas' flexible software defined multi-standard powerline solution fully meets these requirements.
With the proven record of success of the Renesas powerline solution predecessor devices, the aim for the new generation was to reduce overall BOM cost, to increase robustness, to increase performance and to even have the ability to support dual route communication where required. The new modem device integrates an enhanced MAC controller supporting large scale network hopping and routing as well as a high performance digital signal processor (DSP) with special instructions for PLC, covering the physical layer (PHY) and real time processes of the media access protocol (MAC) implementation. Furthermore, DSP algorithms are implemented to improve robustness by using noise detection, noise reduction and error correction mechanisms. Exceptional signal quality and a wide dynamic range are ensured by the embedded analogue front end (AFE) with an integrated adaptive gain amplifier including automatic gain control (AGC) functions. The integration of the LDO regulator, the DC/DC converter and the transmit filters in turn leads to a reduced noise impact from the power supply as well as to an overall reduced bill of materials.
A dedicated reference platform (YCONNECT-IT-PLC-CPX3) provides customers with flexible device configuration. The protocol stacks, including the related frequency bands, can be selected and the communication easily analysed with a dedicated PC GUI. It also allows the customisation of the evaluation software to the customer's own test environment as well as the configuration of their test cases.
The official launch of the new Renesas OFDM powerline modem will take place at the European Utility Week from November 3rd to 5th 2015 in Vienna. With this year's slogan “Think ahead be the best” Renesas will be showcasing next-generation solutions for metering and communication technologies on Stand B.d24.
Samples of the R9A06G037 SoC are available starting from February 2016. (Availability is subject to change without notice.)
About Renesas Electronics Corporation
Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power and SoC products, Renesas provides comprehensive solutions for a broad range of automotive, industrial, infrastructure, and IoT applications that help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
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