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Semitech targets smart grid with PLC solutions

Posted: 12 Aug 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Smart grid  PLC Solutions  green-tech 

Under the helm of a new management team, Semitech Semiconductor will focus on green tech by rolling out new Power Line Communication products, distribution and partnerships directed at the smart grid.

Although newly launched in Singapore, the technology behind Semitech was originally developed by an Australia-based group. For 10 years, the technology behind the company that is now Semitech has been quietly conquering communications challenges and being developed into a line of innovative semiconductors. In particular, the chips are specifically designed to operate in noisy power line environments and have already been successfully tested and installed in smart grid applications worldwide with a high degree of interoperability.

Due to harsh noise and variations in equipment and standards, communications over the power grid are difficult. Through a proprietary and flexible technology design, Semitech chips are able to reliably operate in this challenging environment and successfully interoperate with previously installed equipment.

The company has enlisted an experienced team of industry veterans to make Semitech's chips accessible to the market at large. Matt Rhodes, CEO for Semitech, previously led the creation and growth of a power line communications business as president of Conexant, a communications semiconductor company. Rhodes was seminal in the development of the HomePlug Alliance, which developed the standard for intra-home high bandwidth power line communications.

"We are taking Semitech's industry proven power line communications solutions to the next level at an ideal time to meet the growth needs of the smart grid market," Rhodes noted. "With the recent proliferation of smart grid devices and move towards more efficient resource utilisation in general —including water, electricity, industrial/building management, street light control, and power distribution —we feel that Semitech is perfectly positioned to connect all of these devices to more effectively manage the world's resources."

Rounding out Semitech's management team is Michael Holt, vice president of marketing and sales, and Zeev Collin, vice president of engineering. Holt has held senior-level product line management roles at Texas Instruments and has served as CEO of two semiconductor start-up companies. Collin formerly led the development and growth of ADSL and soft modems for the PC at Conexant. Both Holt and Collin have more than 25 years of experience in the semiconductor industry.

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