6-channel Analog Front End (AFE) targets smart metering


August 1, 2011 – Microchip Technology Inc. has released the MCP3903, its first stand-alone six-channel (AFE) for three-phase energy metering. It includes six 16/24bit Delta-Sigma ADCs that enable simultaneous sampling of six inputs, making it ideal for three-phase metering and power monitoring. The AFE also offers signal-to-noise and distortion (SINAD) of 89dB (typical) and total harmonic distortion (THD) of -99dB (typical).

Government regulations and trends in smart metering, along with the Advanced Metering Infrastructure, has dramatically increased the need for products that offer precise measurements in multi-phase metering while simplifying designs and reducing costs. The MCP3903—designed for utility and industrial markets such as in utility meters, power-monitoring devices and instrumentation devices—delivers this functionality by providing a highly accurate solution with integrated features that enable design flexibility, the company noted.

"The MCP3903 AFE provides engineers with a highly accurate solution for the growing smart-metering and power-monitoring market," said Bryan J. Liddiard, VP of marketing with Microchip’s analog and interface products division. "This device’s integrated features enable more precise measurements than competing solutions, with reduced design time and lower cost."

Additional integrated features include programmable gain amplifiers, a low-drift voltage reference and phase-delay compensation for a reduced external component count.