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Hybrid PLC, LoRa modem geared for smart grid, IoT markets

Posted: 05 May 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Semtech  smart grid  IoT  PLC  LoRa 

Semtech Corp. has brought to market a dual modem (PLC+RF SoC) with integrated LoRa wireless RF technology. The Semtech EV8600 claims to be the first fully integrated PLC and LoRa modem for smart grid, smart metering and IoT applications.

The advanced features of the EV8600 help minimise network operational costs of advance metering infrastructures (AMI) by up to 50%. In addition, the EV8600 modem enables seamless LoRa gateway network deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for smart city and industrial automation.

By offering both a Power Line Communications (PLC) modem operating at 10kHz to 500kHz and an RF modem operating in the range of 142MHz to 1050MHz, the EV8600 enables virtually 100% connectivity coverage with a single chip, indicated the company. The EV8600 also offers a LoRa fallback mode in the event of a complete network outage caused by a natural disaster or other unforeseen events.

To simplify the design effort, the LoRa-enabled EV8600 series performs all bridging/routing algorithms between the two internal modems and has embedded dual image flash memory. The implementation of LoRa features into the EV8600 is accompanied by the addition of Wireless M-BUS protocol for sub-metering applications.

The EV8600 features highly integrated dual-modem SoC comprising a PLC modem and a sub-GHz RF transceiver, all in a single chip with internal secure flash memory. It also includes an applications processor with bridging and routing algorithms between PLC and RF modems.

The PLC modem features an integrated AFE, dual processor MAC and network architecture, and programmable frequency range from 9kHz to 490kHz. It supports G3-PLC, PRIME, P1901.2 and S-FSK standards, as well as CENELEC, FCC, ARIB bands.

The RF modem features 168dB maximum link budget, 20dBm and 100mW constant RF output vs. V supply, as well as 14dBm high efficiency PA. It boasts programmable bit rate up to 300kbit/s, sensitivity down to -148dBm and a bullet-proof front end: IIP3 = -11dBm. It also touts excellent blocking immunity; low RX current of 9.9mA, 200nA register retention; fully integrated synthesizer with a resolution of 61Hz; FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, LoRa and OOK modulation; built-in bit synchroniser for clock recovery; preamble detection; and 127dB Dynamic Range RSSI.

In addition, it also packs an automatic RF sense and CAD with ultra-fast AFC; packet engine up to 256 bytes with CRC, and built-in temperature sensor and low battery indicator.

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