Single chip combines powerline and wireless communications for the first time for smart energy management and electric vehicles
August 07, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
Greenvity Communications has developed the first hybrid system-on-chip (SoC) family that integrates powerline communication (PLC) and wireless capabilities on a single chip.
The Greenvity Hybrii chip family supports both the HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee worldwide standards simultaneously to enable robust and intelligent connectivity for a variety of home and building energy management and electric vehicle applications. The first Hybrii family members include the Hybrii-XL chip for smart grid, smart energy management, industrial and consumer applications, and the Hybrii-PLC device for rugged, high temperature conditions.
Hybrii-XL makes smart grid products possible that for the first time integrate both PLC and ZigBee communication capabilities. The single-chip solution allows customers to reduce costs and power consumption by using one chip and one board, rather than the traditional approach requiring multiple chips and boards to support both standards.
When the Hybrii chip is deployed in an energy-efficient appliance, consumers are assured reliable, robust communication as well as ease of use. They don’t have to worry about which standard an appliance supports and can place the appliance anywhere in their house without worrying about wireless reception issues or multi-phase issues related to power lines. The Hybrii chip automatically chooses the best medium to transmit energy-related data—wirelessly or via existing power lines—and extends the range to cover an entire home or building. If wireless nodes are noisy due to interference then PLC will be enabled and vice versa, ensuring reliable communication.
“The Hybrii family of single-chip energy management solutions will help enable consumers and utilities to take advantage of the energy and cost savings promised by the smart grid and smart energy systems,” said Hung Nguyen, president and CEO of Greenvity Communications. “With our best-in-class hybrid chip offerings that support both HomePlug Green PHY and ZigBee standards, Greenvity aims to speed the adoption of smart energy products, as well as the growth of the electric vehicle market.”
The Hybrii-XL (GV7011) is a highly integrated single chip with HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee wireless functions integrated for low cost and lower power consumption. Both HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee can operate simultaneously, providing high reliability and robust connectivity. The GV7011 is a highly compact chip that integrates analog front-end, RF, baseband, MAC and embedded memory. It also includes a microcontroller (MCU) for low power energy management. The GV7011 offers high performance with data rate up to 9.8 Mbps in PLC mode and 250 Kbps in wireless mode. With versatility and plug-and-play purposes, the Hybrii-XL is powered with multiple interfaces of SPI, Ethernet 10/100 MAC and MII interfaces.
The Hybrii-XL chip provides backbone, two-way communication in HEMS/BEMS applications such as smart meters, energy-efficient appliances, home gateways, routers, HVAC and thermostats, enabling demand response and load balancing that can reduce energy usage by more than 50 percent. For multi-dwelling units (MDU) such as condos and apartment buildings, existing power lines can transfer data and cover a longer distance than wireless alone, while ZigBee will cover each room wirelessly. Additional applications include solar inverters and smart and controlled lighting.
The Hybrii-PLC chip (GV7012) was designed to support electric vehicle and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) or battery chargers. The single-chip solution with HomePlug Green PHY PLC integrates analog front-end, baseband, MAC, embedded memory and an MCU. It can support up to 9.8 Mbps of data rate over power line. The GV7012 chip also is equipped with SPI, Ethernet 10/100 MAC and MII interfaces. Designed to meet rugged conditions and automotive grade temperatures (-40°C to +105°C), the Hybrii-PLC is ideal for demanding environments such as inside a car where high-temperature capability is a requirement.
Samples and evaluation kits of the Hybrii-XL (GV7011) and Hybrii-PLC (GV7012) are available now for ordering.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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