Despite the mechanical meter’s ruggedness, which led to a market dominance even in modern times, the increasing demand for automatic meter reading (AMR) capability, as well as the requirement of less susceptibility against tampering attempts, drive the development of electronic meters with mechanisms for remote data acquisition and processing. The latter meters referenced are called “Smart Meters” and the purely electronic variants with no AMR functionality are called “Static Meters”.

Consequently, price aggressiveness becomes more important for static meters as compared to smart meters, especially with respect to cost competitiveness requirements, with two parameters – power consumption and cost effectiveness – driving the final component choices. This is a power and cost-optimized solution for static meters.

System Benefits

  • Class B (1%), 16-bit metering MCU
  • Single-output low dropout voltage regulator (LDO) capable of sourcing up to 500mA output current
  • 5V powered RS-485, single transceiver that meets the RS-485 standards for balanced communication
  • Optically coupled isolator, containing a gallium arsenide (GaAs) light-emitting diode and an NPN silicon phototransistor, enabling relatively high switching speed with high load resistor of several kΩ