G3-PLC Alliance launches certification programme for first Hybrid PLC & RF communication standard


The G3-PLC Alliance, the world’s leading industry alliance for powerline communication in smart grid applications, now again takes the lead by developing and certifying the next generation PLC standard incorporating Radio Frequency (RF) capabilities.

The G3-PLC Hybrid is the first industry hybrid standard offering extended capabilities in one seamlessly managed network over both media, PLC and RF. This way, the revolutionary hybrid profile provides an efficient and cost-effective solution for smart grid, smart city, industry and IoT applications. The G3-PLC Alliance is pleased to announce the launch of its certification programme for the hybrid profile. With this remarkable achievement, the first hybrid platforms and products are now under certification.

Marc Delandre, Chairman of G3-PLC Alliance, says: “The G3-PLC Alliance runs a very successful certification programme which now includes the hybrid profile. The interoperability of the G3-PLC Hybrid standard has already been demonstrated in 2020 among the chipsets from 5 leading international manufacturers: Microchip, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Semitech Semiconductor and VertexCom Technologies. The hybrid specification has been published and from today, the hybrid profile is a new feature of our certification programme.”

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Major milestone in development of first hybrid PLC & RF communication standard

The hybrid protocol stack is built using open standards IEEE 802.15.4-2015 in addition to the existing G3-PLC protocol. Each device in the mesh network can use PLC as well as RF for the communication. Depending on the actual conditions in the field, messages between two devices are sent over the ‘best’ available channel. The channel selection for each link in the network is done automatically and adjusted dynamically. This way, the hybrid profile provides an efficient
and cost-effective solution for many applications and opens up new use cases as it extends the connectivity of G3-PLC to RF-only devices. The G3-PLC Hybrid profile is fully compatible and interoperable with existing G3-PLC implementations, so it is possible to mix hybrid and non-hybrid nodes.

Leon Vergeer, G3-PLC Alliance General Secretary, said: “A proven and global certification programme allows for the sourcing of interoperable products from multiple suppliers and is a key requirement for any smart grid and IoT application. High-quality certificates will give both manufacturers and customers assurance that their devices have the correct implementation of the G3-PLC standard, that they are interoperable with other certified devices and meet the specified performance levels. Therefore we have spent a lot of time with our members, in close cooperation with our test laboratories LANPARK (France) and TÜV (Japan) to develop and implement tests for the hybrid PLC & RF profile and we are very glad we have now included this in our existing certification programme.”

Visit the G3-PLC website for more information.