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PLC development kit tailored for smart grid apps

Posted: 15 Sep 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:power line communication  PLC  smart grid development 

Texas Instruments Inc. unveils the TMDSPLCKIT-V2, a power line communications (PLC) development kit that offers implementation of monitoring capabilities and a range of services that developers need to network systems.

Based on the company's PLC modem solution, the PLC development kit offers support of multiple modulation and protocol standards on a single hardware platform. This it is expected to cut device maintenance cost while increasing system reliability to create greener, more efficient products. It will let developers evaluate the suitability of using PLC-based communications, and then jumpstart the development of smart grid applications ranging from smart electrical meters to intelligently controlled industrial applications. These include lighting, solar, home automation, building control, plug-in electrical vehicle and energy-managed appliances.

TI's PLC modem is a modular, fully programmable solution comprised of separate MCU and analogue front end (AFE) modules and a complete software framework designed for flexibility and adaptation to various application and regional requirements. The MCU module is based on TI's C2000 architecture and offers excellent performance while interfacing seamlessly with the AFE and application processors to which the PLC modem communicates.

The AFE module is self-contained and fully isolated, reducing design cycle time, lowering power consumption and reducing system cost.

TI also offers its comprehensive plcSUITE, a modular software framework separating modulation, protocol and application development to extend the maximum flexibility to developers in testing and designing with PLC modems.

Key features and benefits of the TMDSPLCKIT-V2 are two narrowband PLC modems for communications over low-voltage/medium-voltage power lines with scalable data rate up to 128Kbit/s (single phase); flexible architecture and software framework that supports all major PLC standards, including S-FSK (IEC61334), PRIME, and G3; integrated AFE that supports all low frequency narrowband modulation standards while offering multiple operating modes for power optimisation, excellent thermal performance, and lower system component count and cost; turnkey evaluation and production software through the royalty-free plcSUITE modular software framework that simplifies development and enables developers to easily adapt products to specific protocol, application, and regional requirements; a fully programmable OFDM-based system allowing environmental tuning for robustness and reliability of communication performance; and a GUI-based control for quick visualisation of key PLC modem parameters.

The TMDSPLCKIT-V2 PLC development kit is priced at Rs.27,970.92 ($599).

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