MCUs reduce component count for single and multi-phase metering


Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 10, 2007 — As utility companies adopt electronic-based meter reading technology to reduce costs while offering new services and energy-saving consumer options, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) has announced the sampling of its 16 MHz MSP430F47x4 ultra-low power microcontrollers (MCU) for single- and multi-phase metering.

By integrating up to four individual 16-bit sigma delta analog to digital converters (ADCs), a 32×32-bit hardware multiplier, a 160 segment LCD driver with contrast control, up to 60 KB of flash memory and a real time clock (RTC), the F47x4 devices enable a five-to-one reduction in system components. TI’s utility metering portfolio also includes devices targeted at water and gas metering, as well as power line communications (PLC) and radio frequency (RF) interfaces for automated meter reading (AMR).

With standby power consumption as low as 1.5 micro amps, a meter based on these new devices allows utilities to reduce overall system power wastage. The F47x4 series of MCUs features several low-power modes, allowing the meter to sleep with almost no power drain between readings. A fast wake-up brings the device to full clock speed within six microseconds (us); together with a fast shut-down, this ‘instant-on’ wake-up minimizes time spent in active mode.