Geneva, Switzerland — (METERING.COM) — October 5, 2010 – Semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics has announced that its new STarGRID™ ST7590 powerline communication (PLC) system-on-chip (SoC) is being used in advanced automatic meter management (AMM) equipment in Iberdrola’s new “STAR project” in Spain.
Based on the PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) standard, the STAR project is installing smart meters in the city of Castellon, with approximately 100,000 PRIME-compliant meters due in the first deployment by early 2011. More than 10 million are expected to be deployed over the next few years in Spain. The AMM equipment that employs the STarGRID ST7590 SoC has passed all PRIME-compliancy certification tests, performed by KEMA, the international certification body.

The ST7590 SoC is the latest device in STMicroelectronics’ STarGRID family, which offers a flexible, scalable and future-proof PLC platform that can be easily adapted to different smart grid application needs and protocol standards. In addition, the platform optimizes power consumption and system cost significantly more effectively than solutions based on multi-purpose stand-alone DSPs which require additional external analog front end and power line driver components.
“Being selected as the silicon technology provider for the STAR project is a significant testament to ST’s leading edge know-how in this field,” said Pietro Menniti, VP and general manager of the company’s Industrial Power Conversion Division. “STarGRID is a breakthrough in PLC technology that offers a flexible SoC platform meeting major worldwide smart metering and smart grid standards.”