US semiconductor manufacturer Silicon Labs launched new software this week to simplify the development of wirelessly connected smart meters for electricity, gas, water and heat using the Wireless M-Bus standard, the company said.

Silicon Labs’ Wireless M-Bus software complements the company’s microcontroller and wireless IC products and development kits for the smart metering and smart grid markets.

The solution includes a comprehensive sub-GHz wireless protocol stack that includes application programming interface-based access for both application and extended data link layers.

The software also includes an optional serial command interface to enable control of the Wireless M-Bus solution from an external host processor.

The Wireless M-Bus specification, based on the European standard EN13757-4, specifies seamless sub-GHz RF communication between various types of smart utility meters, data concentrators, mobile readout devices and heat meters.

Wireless smart meter applications require long life for battery-powered meters such as water, gas and heat meters.

The Wireless M-Bus communications protocol requires very little overhead for the small amounts of data used by the meter enabling battery life up to 15-20 years.

Proven over the past several years in field tests and deployments in many different countries, Wireless M-Bus has become a widely accepted standard for smart metering in Europe, and interest in the standard is also growing in other world regions, stated Silicon Labs.

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