Paris, October 8, 2012 - The G3-PLC Alliance announced the interoperability process for the PHY layer is completely defined. A first implementation of the process led to a final plug fest where 5 implementations – from Freescale, Maxim, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments - were shown to be successfully interoperable. Jean Vigneron, General Secretary, is excited to announce that the interoperability process for the PHY layer is not only open to G3-PLC Alliance members, but also to any new implementers of the G3-PLC protocol.
The interoperability process for the MAC layer is currently under definition and will be completed during 2012; the interoperability processes for the 6LowPAN layer and the overall protocol stack will be defined in the first quarter of 2013. All these processes will be open to the members of the G3-PLC Alliance in order to allow the greatest possible interoperability of all different G3-PLC implementations.
Why an open standard? Driven by the dual demands of rising energy generation costs and the compelling need for a greener planet, it’s become clear we need to maximize the efficiency of electricity distribution and usage. To get everyone speaking the same “language” the G3-PLC standard was developed based on over 20 years of industry learning on grid communications. It is an advanced OFDM-based powerline communications (PLC) standard created to deliver the fast, secure, reliable and cost- effective communications required for the smart grid.
In the pilot a total of 1,000 interoperable Elster and Sagemcom G3-PLC smart electricity meters will be installed in households in the coming months.
The need for an intelligent power grid has become obvious in recent years. But without standards, interoperability and efficiency suffers. To overcome these barriers the G3-PLC specification was released by ERDF (Electricité Réseau Distribution France) in 2009 as part of an international initiative to standardize around a single communication technology. Since the publication of the first comparative performance results against other powerline communications (PLC) technologies at the Metering Europe 2009 conference in Barcelona, the G3-PLC has been of interest to many utilities, standards bodies and other stakeholders of the smart grid. The programme to test and analyze the new protocol and modem was of such interest that ERDF and the original developers decided in early 2011 to support and expand the movement by creating the G3-PLC Alliance.
The Newport evaluation platform provides the flexibility to handle uncertainties such as security algorithms, different communication protocols, and the need for field-upgradable meters. With the platform designers can evaluate the MAX2991/MAX2992 G3-PLC compliant chipset, the 71M6541 metering SOC, and the MAXQ1050 secure microcontroller for their next-generation smart meters.
These founder members are Enexis, ERDF, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Nexans, Sagemcom, EDF R&D, and Trialog.