Partnership to develop more efficient AM communications


Meter manufacturer ADD GRUP and Texas Instruments (TI), a provider of high performance analog products, have joined forces to develop a new and more efficient communication technology that will aid the spread of advanced meter management (AMM) systems.

The implementation of standards and technologies such as DLMS and TCP/IP result in heavier protocols and greater data volumes, and the carrying capacity of the infrastructure is not always able to support their introduction. The most natural medium for carrying the data is the power line, but today’s technology, based on FSK modulation, is not always able to conduct the required data flow.

The new solution is based on TI’s 32-bit DSP Controller (TMS320F28 ™) and enables the use of S-FSK and OFDM on the same platform, with the ability to easily switch between them.

S-FSK is a standardised solution used in many AMM systems. OFDM, already in use in other communication technologies, offers a range of advantages, including robustness, higher data rates and longer communication distances. The implementation of OFDM opens new possibilities, like integration of TCP-IP protocols and higher degree of security through more sophisticated encryption algorithms.

The S-FSK/OFDM PL modem will be launched at the Metering Europe conference in The Netherlands from 22–24 September 2008. /