System-on-chip energy metering solutions for global communications protocols


Norwood, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 29, 2008 – The ADE51xx and ADE55xx single-chip metering devices, designed for the increasingly sophisticated communications networks used by today’s energy markets, have been introduced by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), which is expanding its portfolio of energy metering solutions. The devices are designed for the increasingly sophisticated communications networks used by today’s energy markets.

Globally, solid-state energy meters are replacing failure-prone electromechanical systems, which are subject to meter tampering and cannot easily support new features such as remote meter reading and time-of-use billing. These new features and the more robust metering networks they enable are demanding greater memory density to handle the energy industry’s growing data volume. Analog Devices’ new SoC (system-on-chip) energy meter devices feature 62 Kbytes of on-chip flash memory and 2 Kbytes of RAM (random access memory), which provides more usable memory than any other available energy meter to support the program and data storage needs of advanced communications protocols in North America, Europe and emerging Asian markets.

The single-chip ADE51xx and ADE55xx metering devices integrate a proven energy measurement core, an 8051 microcontroller, an LCD (liquid crystal display) driver with contrast control, a full hardware RTC (real-time clock), two UARTs (universal asynchronous receivers-transmitters), and intelligent battery management technology. In addition to replacing six discrete ICs with a single SoC, the highly integrated metering solutions maintain accurate time, sense temperature changes, run the LCD read-out, and perform other critical system functions, all while using less than half the power of competitive solutions. In battery mode, current consumption is reduced to 1.5 microamps. This 50 percent reduction in current consumption when the LCD is activated is achieved through a combination of battery management techniques that allow the meter to run multiple LCD screens, maintain active temperature measurement, and keep accurate timing during power outages – all while the microcontroller remains in sleep mode. The ADE51xx differs from the ADE55xx by offering two current inputs for anti-tampering detection and billing.

“When Linyang investigated export opportunities, we realized that producing a cost-effective system required a metering SoC capable of supporting the program size necessary to implement multi-tariff tables and communication protocol while providing a solution to our low-power needs,” said M. Lu, chief engineer at Chinese energy meter manufacturer, Linyang Electronics. “Analog Devices’ ADE55xx and ADE51xx devices not only increase the usable program size above the current standard, they also push battery-mode functionality to new heights with an internal battery switch, a full RTC with automatic temperature curvature compensation, and four LCD screen memories with automatic scrolling. These features make the ADE55xx and ADE51xx a unique match to our metering needs.”