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Comm solution handles low-, high-voltage power lines

Posted: 29 Mar 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:powerline? communication solution? PSoC? interface?


From Cypress Semiconductor Corp. comes a programmable product for data communication over existing power lines.

The Powerline Communication (PLC) product leverages the programmable analog and digital resources of Cypress's programmable SoC (PSoC) and integrates multiple functions beyond communication, such as power measurement, system management and LCD drive. In addition to its flexibility and integration, the product offers greater than 97 percent packet success rates without retries and 100 percent success rates with retries built into the solution's coding. It also offers the flexibility to communicate over high-voltage and low-voltage power lines for lighting and industrial control, home automation, automatic meter reading and smart energy management applications.

Compared to existing products that require external microcontrollers and filters, Cypress's PLC solution integrates a FSK PHY modem, network protocol and application code with the programmable analog and digital blocks and MCU of the PSoC architecture. This combination provides a single hardware platform for multiple applications, reducing BOM cost, board size and chip count while improving manufacturability. Cypress offers reference designs for both high-voltage (110V to 240V AC) and low-voltage (12V to 24V AC/DC) coupling circuits based on boards compliant with Federal Communications Commission and European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization standards.

Additional features include support for bidirectional half-duplex communication; flexibility to use complete solution (PHY, protocol and application code) or just pieces of solution (PHY and protocol or PHY only); variable baud rates up to 2400bit/s; and an onboard power supply that derives power from the power line bus.

The Cypress PLC family includes a cost-optimized fixed-function device with an I?C interface (CY8CPLC10), programmable PSoC-based devices (CY8CPLC20), and programmable PSoC-based devices optimized for LED support (CY8CLED16P01). The CY8CPLC10 device is available in a 28-pin SSOP package, while the CY8CPLC20 and CY8CLED16P01 devices come in 28-pin SSOP, 48-pin QFN and 100-pin TQFP packages. All of the devices are currently in production.

Pricing varies between $3 to $5 in 10K quantities, depending on the device selected.

- Ismini Scouras

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