Electronic Products & Technology

Semitech Semiconductor announces OFDMA based power line communications chip


Electronics CEL

Semitech Semiconductor - a provider of power line communications solutions - announced the availability of the SM2200: an OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) based power line transceiver.

The SM2200 is designed to “operate in particularly noise prone smart grid environments, and is targeting networking applications,” said Semitech. It delivers the “highest reliability” power line communications and is designed with an emphasis on Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) applications.
It uses modulation and signal processing technology that is adjustable in speed but also in frequency and adapts to the noise environment to choose the most effective transmission frequency. It also employs Multi Access scheme to provide “additional robustness and enables communication with multiple nodes simultaneously.”

“With governments around the world driving initiatives focused on the smart grid, combined with the need for over 100 million meters per year to be replaced over the next ten years, the introduction of the SM2200 could not have come at a better time,” noted Mike Holt, vice president of marketing and sales for Semitech. “The SM2200 makes power line communications reliable and cost effective.”

Other applications for the SM2200 include: street lighting control, smart energy home area networking, home automation, and building automation. It has been tested and deployed in over 1000 nodes in China.

The SM2200’s other capabilities include:
– Programmable modulation to improve communications reliability: OFDMA transceiver with 54 carriers and up to 18 channels
– High data transfer rates in noisy environments: User selectable between BPSK modulation for higher carrier voltages and higher noise immunity and QPSK modulation for higher data rate
– Narrow band emulation and low frequency mode putting channels in CENELEC frequency range
– Selectable frequency range for each carrier
– Transmit power regulation
– Error correction



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