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Maxim chipsets integrate isolated analogue, digital interface

Posted: 11 Oct 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:isolated energy measurement  smart grid  AC power 

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has unleashed the MAX78700/MAX78615 isolated energy measurement chipset with preloaded firmware from the company. According to the firm, the devices allow designers to measure AC or DC power usage from any phase without the need for bulky sensors, optocouplers, or an extra power supply for the measurement sub-system.

Engineers face unique challenges when embedding high-voltage AC (or DC) measurement into their design. As in electricity utility meters, isolation must be maintained between different phases, which historically has been accomplished using bulky current sensors. For most other systems, however, the need for full galvanic isolation from the rest of the system is often required to meet safety standards. This demands additional isolation components that penalise both size and cost of the system. The MAX78700/MAX78615 chipset addresses these challenges by integrating a unique isolated interface between the analogue (MAX78700) and digital (MAX78615) domains and requiring only a single pulse transformer. This innovative approach significantly reduces size, complexity and cost. This complete solution includes nonvolatile memory and preloaded application-specific firmware, providing an autonomous measurement sub-system ready for integration into any system. The chipset is geared for solar inverters, data centres, outdoor lighting, renewable energy systems and smart grid applications.

The chipset integrates nonvolatile memory, upgradeable measurement firmware, isolated power delivery to up to three MAX78700s (from a single MAX78615), and an isolated data path between ICs using a single pulse transformer. It also scales to thousands of volts of isolation and contains application-specific firmware for a range of energy-measurement requirements. Additionally, the device eliminates the requirement for an isolated power supply and bulky sense transformers.The MAX78615 processor is available in a small 24-pin TQFN package, while the MAX78700 multi-channel ADC is available in a small, 10-pinµMAX package. Pricing is available upon request.

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