ON Semiconductor Introduces a Fully Integrated Power Line Modem for Smart Meters

September 01, 2009

New power line carrier modem integrates a modem and microcontroller to provide a robust low power, single chip solution

Power Line Carrier (PLC) ModemPHOENIX, Ariz. – Sept. 1, 2009 - ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN), a leading global supplier of high performance, energy efficient, silicon solutions, has introduced the AMIS-49587, the latest member of the company’s power line carrier (PLC) modem family. The AMIS-49587 provides a highly integrated, standard compliant, low power PLC solution for use in applications such as smart electric automatic meter reading and management, street lighting control, smart power plug and building automation. Utilizing ON Semiconductor’s mixed-signal technology allows the AMIS-49587 to combine both the analog modem front end and digital post processing capability in the same integrated circuit.

By offering an integrated single chip solution, the IEC61334 compliant AMIS-49587 helps to simplify designs, lower development and implementation costs, and speed time to market. This new device is based around an ARM7TDMI processor core and includes both the physical interface transceiver (PHY) and the media access controller (MAC) layers whereas most competing solutions require complex embedded software to perform the same functions as the AMIS-49587.Using the spread frequency shift keying (S-FSK) modulation technique coupled with accurate filtering gives robust low data rate communications on power lines over long distances. Half-duplex selectable communication speeds of 2400 bits/sec (baud) can be achieved. A low operating frequency of less than 20 kilohertz (kHz) with an automatic repeater function further supports dependable communications with fewer communication errors than alternative and existing solutions. Synchronization to the mains signal is done via an onboard low jitter PLL, and an embedded filter provides superior white noise and narrowband interference rejection. Direct connection to the host MCU is via a two-wire serial interface.

Due to its high level of integration and the onboard protocol embodiment, the AMIS-49587 accepts high level data inputs and eliminates the need for designers to go into PHY and MAC protocol transmission details. This higher-level interface means that up to 50 percent of the software development effort can be saved leading to a shorter time to market and reduced overall cost.

Driven by governmental regulation and various energy efficiency initiatives, the emerging smart meter market is set to develop at a fast rate.  According to IMS Research’s ongoing analysis of the global smart meter market, in 2008, global smart meter shipments reached a market size of roughly 10 million units. The North American market was particularly strong, estimated to have surged by almost 50% in annual growth from 2007. Shipments of smart meters continue to grow at a rough annualized rate of 20 percent.

In addition, the European Parliament decided to roll-out smart meters in all EU Member States by 2022, with 80 percent coverage to be achieved by 2020. According to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) report, smart meters already represent 4.7 percent of installed meters in the United States, which is up from 1 percent in 2006. China has invested in a massive smart grid project with estimated completion by 2020 with the goal to demonstrate how the country is using its energy. 

“The ability of the smart meter to produce real-time visibility of electricity and gas consumption will allow utility providers and governments to reduce power loss, optimize consumption and manage demand of valuable energy resources,” said Guido Remmerie, director motion control and energy management products at ON Semiconductor. “The AMIS-49587 from ON Semiconductor supports a complete PLC communication solution to bring the measured power data to the utility companies over the power lines.”

Supplied in a PLCC 28 package, the Pb-free and RoHS compliant AMIS-49587 is pin compatible with the AMIS-30585 – ON Semiconductor’s existing half-duplex S-FSK modem. Operating temperature range for the AMIS-49587 is -40 °C to +80 °C.  ON Semiconductor will offer the AMIS-49587 in a QFN package soon.  

Pricing and Availability
The AMIS-49587 is currently available and budgetary pricing is $11.00 USD for quantities of 1,000 units and above. AMIS-49587 evaluation kits are available. For more information, please contact your local sales representative at www.onsemi.com.  

For additional technical information, visit https://www.onsemi.com or contact Koen Geirnaert at koen.geirnaert@onsemi.com.

About ON Semiconductor
With its global logistics network and strong product portfolio, ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN) is a preferred supplier of high performance, energy efficient, silicon solutions to customers in the power supply, automotive, communication, computer, consumer, medical, industrial, mobile phone, and military/aerospace markets. The company's broad portfolio includes power, analog, DSP, mixed-signal, advance logic, clock management, non-volatile memory and standard component devices. The company operates a network of manufacturing facilities, sales offices and design centers in key markets throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific regions. For more information, visit https://www.onsemi.com.

About IMS Research
IMS Research is a leading supplier of market research and consultancy services on a wide range of global electronics markets. The company has over 70 analysts spread across three locations: Wellingborough, UK; Austin, Texas; and Shanghai, China. IMS Research’s Power & Energy Group regularly publishes detailed research on power electronics markets such as power semiconductors, power supplies, meters and smart meters, renewable energy (photovoltaic, etc.) and UPS. Our global presence enables us to provide clients with comprehensive and detailed research on today's international markets. For more information, visit https://www.imsresearch.com

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ON Semiconductor and the ON Semiconductor logo are registered trademarks of Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC. All other brand and product names appearing in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders. Although the company references its Web site in this news release, such information on the Web site is not to be incorporated herein.


About onsemi

onsemi (Nasdaq: ON) is driving disruptive innovations to help build a better future. With a focus on automotive and industrial end-markets, the company is accelerating change in megatrends such as vehicle electrification and safety, sustainable energy grids, industrial automation, and 5G and cloud infrastructure. onsemi offers a highly differentiated and innovative product portfolio, delivering intelligent power and sensing technologies that solve the world’s most complex challenges and leads the way to creating a safer, cleaner, and smarter world. onsemi is recognized as a Fortune 500® company and included in the S&P 500® index. Learn more about onsemi at www.onsemi.com.


onsemi and the onsemi logo are trademarks of Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC. All other brand and product names appearing in this document are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders. Although the Company references its website in this news release, information on the website is not to be incorporated herein.

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