Last month, Olivier Monnier described the challenges of power line communications technology and the need for robustness. The issue of the main line varying grid by grid, region by region and even the grid topology changing country by country. For example, in certain Asian countries one transformer can lead to hundreds or even thousands of meters versus some places in the United States where one transformer is only connected to a few household meters so that the PLC used is required to cross the LV/LV or LV/MV transformers. Bottom line is a flexible PLC solution with scalability and adaptability to channel condition and application performance is a MUST HAVE. So today we unveiled TI’s PLC solution (www.ti.com/plc). To evaluate requirements like those I mentioned above, take a look at TI’s PLC development kit. All of the PLC functionalities are implemented 100% in software by a single C2000™ microcontroller which is connected to a flexible Analog Front End module. With the SW library plcSUITE™, this the only platform that can support multiple popular PLC standards such as: PRIME standard as defined by Spanish utility giant Iberdrola (http://www.prime-alliance.org), G3 standard as defined by French utility company EDF (http://www.erdfdistribution.com), as well as a non-OFDM based standard such as IEC61334 (SFSK). For non-standard based applications such as meters on the US and China grids, street-lighting control, solar farm/solar panel control, the FlexOFDM™ SW library is available in PLC kit with features such as: frequency band selectivity (CENELEC A,B,BC,CD, FCC, ARIB), data rate versus complexity trade-off, and distance versus robustness trade-off. To meet the “robustness” challenge, TI’s plcSUITE went through strict testing procedures to guarantee its field robustness, interoperability with other vendors, and is standard certifiable. Our engineers collected and analyzed a variety of power line communication channel conditions with many interference sources to abstract channels to test our plcSUITE. Our solution has undergone field tests on the grids in Spain, United States, China and Japan among others. To summarize, TI’s plcSUITE software Library together with the PLC development kit, gives you a robust, flexible and scalable turn-key solution for narrow-band PLC applications. For more information on TI’s PLC solutions, check out our whitepaper or the web page: www.ti.com/plc.
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