The Atmel | SMART portfolio of metering solutions now support the latest advanced connectivity standards.
Atmel has become the first company to receive the PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) v1.4 Profile 2 certification for the Atmel | SMART SAM4CP16B and ATPL230A smart metering solutions. The certification extends Atmel’s leadership and commitment to delivering state-of-the-art connectivity solutions and ensures that the company’s customers are able to develop high performance solutions, incorporating new features of the PRIME v1.4 standard. The latest standard supports some of the most demanding requirements of smart metering systems by offering increased robustness, throughput, band expansion, band-plan flexibility and IPv6.
“We are pleased to be the first semiconductor supplier to help develop and validate the technology, and to achieve this significant milestone with deep cooperation and partnership with our customers and the PRIME Alliance over a period of nearly five years,” said Kourosh Boutorabi, Senior Director of Smart Energy Solutions at Atmel. “We see increased interest in the PRIME standard by utilities in EMEA, Latin America and Asia and believe that as its adoption and proliferation continues, it is essential that its technical evolution continue to be fully standard compliant and certifiable by our customers as well as the utilities.”
PRIME is a mature, consolidated and worldwide PLC standard for advanced metering. There are currently millions of smart meters based on the PRIME standard that have been deployed supporting the PRIME v1.3. The Atmel | SMART portfolio of solutions now fully comply with both v1.3 and v1.4 standards ensuring total flexibility and scalability for original equipment manufacturers developing next-generation smart metering systems worldwide.
While it might look like an ordinary digital picture frame, it’s so much more.
A digital photo frame that shares memorable moments of your life and saves you money on your electric bill each month? Picture that! That is the premise behind CEIVA Energy’s HomeView digital picture frame, which allows users to keep tabs on home energy use, without the need for another display showing boring information about kilowatt hours.
Founded in 2000 by former Disney executives, the Burbank, California company officially launched in 2011. Since its inception, the infiltration of smart devices throughout the home has led to an assortment of sophisticated thermostats, like the Google Nest and Honeywell Lyric, that can learn a homeowner’s energy consumption habits and automatically adjust the temperature accordingly to mitigate costs and unnecessary use.
While the idea of merging a digital photo display with energy data may seem a bit absurd, the team behind the frame believes it has developed a new, more intuitive alternative to increase customer engagement. And, as the smart home market continues to emerge, some consumers may find connected devices to either be too pricey or unnecessary, or the average consumer may just not be interested in another form of technology. What’s great about CEIVA HomeView is that it simply brings an accessory already found throughout your home into the digital-savvy era.
How it works is pretty simple. The frame displays a montage of photos uploaded by its owner on its 8-inch screen. Meanwhile, the ZigBee-enabled device wirelessly receives energy use data from the home’s smart meter. Once the information has been sent to and processed by CEIVA’s servers, the frame then displays home energy consumption approximately every 90 seconds. The data points are reduced to two or three numbers, not an entire chart or graphical representation that shares a bunch of confusing information. Instead, the gadget reveals useful things like electric rate and an estimated utility bill for that month.
While receiving information about current and historical electricity, water and gas usage is a welcomed addition into any home, users can also invite friends and family to send photos directly to the frame, send pictures to a frame remotely via the web, email, camera phone, tablet and social media channels, as well as insert a memory card and view a camera’s photos in real-time.
One of, if not the, most important feature of the HomeView is its security — an imperative element as the number of smart home hacks are on the rise. Equipped with an Atmel ATECC108 crypto engine, CEIVA notes that the frame never be replicated and all communications to and from frame are uniquely assigned for that specific. In other words, only you can view information and control your devices. This is because the ATECC108 provides a full turnkey Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) engine using key sizes of 256 or 283 bits, which are appropriate for modern security environments without the long computation delay typical of software solutions.
Atmel has expanded its Atmel | SMART portfolio of energy metering products with the recent introduction of the SAM4C32 dual-core secure MCU, along with the SAM4CMS32 and SAM4CMP32 for residential, commercial and industrial metering applications. The new system-on-chip (SoC) solutions have 2MB of cache-enabled dual-bank flash, are pin-pin compatible with existing 512KB and 1MB devices in the portfolio, and allow unparalleled scalability and design-reuse for next-generation smart metering platforms.
The SAM4Cx series is built on a dual-core 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 architecture with flexible firmware metrology capability up to a class 0.2 accuracy designed to meet WELMEC requirements for the separation of legal metrology, applications and communications. All devices include advanced security features, low-power real-time clock and LCD driver, and multiple serial interfaces resulting in a best-in-class level of integration, performance and lower bill of material (BOM) cost.
“As the rate of smart meter deployments continue to rise in several European and Asian regions, our customers demand an unprecedented level of integration and scalability to maximize their R&D investment and to address multiple utility markets more quickly at lower cost points,” explained Kourosh Boutorabi, Atmel’s Senior Director of Smart Metering. “We are committed to offering next-generation smart metering system architects a broad portfolio of solutions based on the same core platform architecture, software and tools.”
As we’ve previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the Atmel | SMART SAM4Cx is a comprehensive smart energy platform designed specifically for grid communications, electricity, gas and water metering systems, and energy measurement applications.
One high-frequency PLL up to 240 MHz, one 8 MHz PLL with internal 32 kHz input
Low-power slow clock internal RC oscillator as permanent clock
Ultra-low-power RTC with Gregorian and Persian Calendar, Waveform Generation and Clock Calibration
Up to 23 Peripheral DMA (PDC) Channels
One Segmented LCD Controller
Display capacity of 38 segments and 6 common terminals
Software-selectable LCD output voltage (Contrast)
Can be used in Backup mode
Four USARTs (ATSAM4CMS32) or three USARTs (ATSAM4CMP32) with ISO7816, IrDA®, RS-485, SPI and Manchester Mode /
Two 2-wire UARTs
Up to two 400 kHz Master/Slave and Multi-Master Two-wire Interfaces (I2C compatible)
Up to five Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPI)
Two 3-channel 16-bit Timer/Counters with Capture, Waveform, Compare and PWM modes
Quadrature Decoder Logic and 2-bit Gray Up/Down Counter for Stepper Motor
3-channel 16-bit Pulse Width Modulator
32-bit Real-time Timer
Energy Metering Analog-Front-End Module
Works with Atmel’s MCU Metrology library
Compliant with Class 0.2 standards (ANSI C12.20-2002 and IEC 62053-22)
Four Sigma-Delta ADC measurement channels, 20-bit resolution, 102 dB dynamic range
Analog Conversion Block
6-channel, 500 kS/s, Low-power, 10-bit SAR ADC with Digital averager providing 12-bit resolution at 30 kS/s
Software Controlled On-chip Reference ranging from 1.6V to 3.4V
Temperature Sensor and Backup Battery Voltage Measurement Channel
Up to 57 I/O lines (ATSAM4CMS32) or up to 52 I/O lines (ATSAM4CMP32) with External Interrupt Capability (edge or level sensitivity), Schmitt Trigger, Internal Pull-up/pull-down, Debouncing, Glitch Filtering and On-die Series Resistor Termination
Atmel recently announced the introduction of its latest Power Line Communication System-on-Chip (SoC) solution designed for smart metering applications.
The Atmel SAM4CP16B is an extension of Atmel’s SAM4Cx smart energy platform built on a dual-core 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 architecture. Fully compatible with Atmel’s ATPL230A OFDM physical layer (PHY) device compliant with PRIME standard specification, this highly flexible solution addresses OEM’s requirements for various system partitioning, BOM reduction and time-to-market requirements by incorporating independent application, protocol stack and physical layer processing functions within the same device.
“We continue to build on the success of our industry leading SAM4Cx platform and offer best-in-class embedded connectivity, flexibility and cost structure for high-volume smart metering deployments,” said Andres Munoz, Atmel Marketing Manager, Smart Energy Communications. “Furthermore, additional enhancements developed to meet PRIME standard specifications provide unprecedented performance in rigorous environments.”
As part of the Atmel® | SMART™ family, the solution includes integrated low-power driver, advanced cryptography, 1Mbytes of embedded Flash, 152Kbytes of SRAM, low-power RTC, and LCD controller. Additional key features include:
— ARM Cortex-M4 running at up to 120 MHz
— Memory Protection Unit (MPU)
— DSP Instruction
— Thumb®-2 instruction set
— Instruction and Data Cache Controller with 2 Kbytes Cache Memory
— ARM Cortex-M4F running at up to 120 MHz
— IEEE® 754 Compliant, Single precision Floating-Point Unit (FPU)
— DSP Instruction
— Thumb-2 instruction set
— Instruction and Data Cache Controller with 2 Kbytes Cache Memory
Symmetrical/Asynchronous Dual Core Architecture
— Interrupt-based Interprocessor Communication
— Asynchronous Clocking
— One Interrupt Controller (NVIC) for each core
— Each Peripheral IRQ routed to each NVIC Input
— High-performance AES 128 to 256 with various modes (GCM, CBC, ECB, CFB, CBC-MAC, CTR)
— TRNG (up to 38 Mbit/s stream, with tested Diehard and FIPS)
— Classical Public Key Crypto accelerator and associated ROM library for RSA, ECC, DSA, ECDSA
— Integrity Check Module (ICM) based on Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA1, SHA224, SHA256), DMA assisted
— 4 Physical Anti-tamper Detection I/O with Time Stamping and Immediate Clear of General Backup Registers
— Security bit for Device Protection from JTAG accesses
PRIME PLC embedded modem
— Power Line Carrier Modem for 50 Hz and 60 Hz mains
— 97-carriers OFDM PRIME compliant
— DBPSK, DQPSK, D8PSK modulation schemes available
— Additional enhanced modes available: DBPSK Robust, DQPSK Robust
— Eight selectable channels between 42kHz to 472kHz available
— Baud rate Selectable: 5.4 to 128.6 kbps
— Four dedicated buffers for transmission/reception
— Up to 124.6 dBμVrms injected signal against PRIME load
— Up to 79.6 dB of dynamic range in PRIME networks
— Automatic Gain Control and continuous amplitude tracking in signal reception
— Class D switching power amplifier control
Shared System Controller
— Power Supply
— Embedded Core and LCD Voltage Regulator for single supply operation
— Power-on-Reset (POR), Brownout Detector (BOD) and Watchdog for safe operation
—Low Power Sleep and Backup modes
A new report authored by Grand View Research analysts confirm the global embedded systems market remains on track to reach $214.39 billion by 2020.
To be sure, a favorable regulatory environment for the installation of smart devices such as smart meters is expected to drive global embedded system demand over the forecast period.
In addition, the growing adoption and evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) propelled by technological advancement is also expected to fuel the industry over the next six years.
“Increasing demand for end-use industries such as healthcare and consumer electronics is [also] expected to positively impact the embedded systems market,” a Grand View Research analyst explained.
“Key requirements for an efficient embedded system include high degree of reliability and responsiveness as well as low cost, since these devices are embedded in safety critical systems. Decreasing prices of microcontrollers, which are a key component of embedded hardware, is expected to give impetus to the market in the coming years.”
Additional key findings detailed in the above-mentioned report include:
Embedded hardware is expected to remain the dominant product segment and accounted for 93.8% of the global market in 2013, including Digital Signal Processors (DSP), microprocessors as well as microcontrollers.
Embedded software is projected to grow at the fastest rate of 8.1% from 2014 to 2020, with the market for healthcare applications on track for a CAGR of 7.1% from 2014 to 2020.
Automotive will continue leading the global market; the segment accounted for 20.8% of the overall market share in 2013.
Atmel is the newest member of the G3-PLC Alliance, the international organization that promotes the G3-PLC Communications standard which ensures interoperability of new smart grid ecosystems. Learn more about our membership in the alliance, and see what we’re doing with smart grid technologies.