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MCUs geared for electricity metering

Posted: 26 Jan 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microcontroller? electricity metering? energy monitoring?

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has released a family of 16bit microcontrollers (MCUs) engineered for electricity metering and energy monitoring applications. The MSP430F673x/F672x MCUs boast real-time clock (RTC) operation and power management from the main power supply and up to two separate auxiliary supplies.

The 24 new F673x/F672x devices claim to achieve precise measurements through an increased sampling rate and superior linearity in many operating conditions such as current range and time, resulting in a stable system solution. According to the company, the devices are TI's first 6xx series MCUs with integrated 24bit sigma-deltas and a 320-segment LCD controller. The LCDs flaunt more programmability and enable more characters on displays, especially with Asian languages. The MCUs are designed for ultra-low power modes, ensuring the LCD display is consuming as little power as possible during operation, said TI.


MSP430 family uses only 1.4?A in standby mode.

TI's free MSP430 Energy Library is available to support metrology software on the F673x/F672x devices. Developers can test and experience accuracy results with the MSP430F6736 EVM, a single-phase electricity meter as well as program and debug F673x/F672x devices with the MSP-TS430PZ100B target board and MSP-FET430U100B flash emulation tool.

TI stated that the MCUs deliver less than 0.1 percent accuracy across a 2400:1 dynamic range that enables the F673x/F672x family to meet class 0.1 meters and exceed IEC62053/ANSI C12.20. The device has a sigma-delta converter that offers independent channels for voltage, current and tamper detection. This cuts energy measurement software development and security concerns, TI noted.

The devices likewise contains an LCD driver that enables segment and blinking control and dual display memory, and can run in 8-MUX mode to support multiple LCD devices. Additionally, the products claim to consume only 1.4?A in standby mode with ultra-fast wake up at less than 3?s.

The MSP430F673x/F672x microcontrollers are available at $2 for 1K units. The MSP-TS430PZ100B target board is available for $75 and the MSP-FET430U100B flash emulation tool is available for $149.

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