Optimal Smart Meter Electronics


Conference: World Meter Design Congress
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Presenter: Kourosh Boutarabi
Abstract: Presented by Kourosh Boutarabi at World Meter Design Congress

Semiconductor vendors specializing in metering have introduced highly integrated system-on-chip (SOC) products since 2004. Prior to that, discrete architectures which included multiple ICs were the standard approach. While these multi-chip designs had the architectural flexibility to scale to various processing, interfacing and to lesser extent metrology requirements, they resulted in higher cost and less reliable products. Lower level of application specific optimization was another drawback as generic ICs such as microcontrollers are often tailored for a wide array of commercial and industrial applications and not functionally optimized for metering.

Designers were forced to supplement such deficiencies elsewhere by inclusion of additional circuit level components or development of their own custom ASICs. By contrast, newer application specific SOCs have managed to strike a balance between cost, performance and reliability; are dominating new meter architectures and are proving that the totality of an integrated solution can add up to more than the sum of its parts. Today, it is estimated that two third of new meter designs are based on SOC solutions.