New system-on-chip MCU solution for e-metering applications


Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 13, 2009 – The MSP430FE42x2 microcontroller (MCU) series, reducing electronic bill of materials (EBOM) to the $1 range in high volumes for single phase electricity metering (e-metering) applications, has been announced.

Texas Instruments’ MSP430FE42x2 MCUs integrate all metering functionality onto a single chip and offer ultra-low power operation so that only simple voltage regulation such as that provided by TI’s TPS78230 regulator is required for a complete solution. FE42x2 MCUs come in a 64-pin LQFP package and offer up to 32 kB of in-system programmable Flash memory.

Key features and benefits of the MSP430FE42x2 include a unique embedded signal processor (ESP) peripheral that fully automates energy conversion by integrating two independent, high resolution sigma-delta ADCs, programmable gain amplifiers, a temperature sensor, precision voltage reference, H/W multiplier and a dedicated fixed function MSP430 CPU. The ESP provides 0.1 percent accurate energy measurement over a dynamic current range of 1000- to-1, surpassing the 1 percent accuracy common in typical meters today.

A second, fully-programmable on-chip MSP430 CPU is available for application processing and communication functions. An enhanced watchdog timer, brownout protection and a supply voltage supervisor increase system reliability.

A 128 segment LCD driver, three channel 16-bit pulse width modulation timer, serial communication port and a basic timer for a real-time clock function provide all functionality for a complete meter implementation while saving board space, reducing development time and streamlining time-to-market.  

Direct device operation is from a 3 V supply with the CPU and ESP active at only 2.5 mA. During a power outage, the device can operate in standby mode at 1.1 uA with real-time clock function active. Ultra-low power can enable 10 and 20-year battery life in metering applications.