Kawasaki, Japan, Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A., and Dusseldorf, Germany --- (METERING.COM) --- December 17, 2009 - The availability of four new 8-bit all Flash™ LCD microcontrollers (MCUs) with an integrated metrology engine providing energy measurement and management functions for smart electricity meters has been announced by NEC Electronics.

The new chips will simplify smart meter designs for homes around the world, contributing to efficient energy usage and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

The 64-pin 78K0/LE3-M microcontroller comes in a 10 mm x 10 mm low profile quad flat package (LQFP) and is designed for single phase 2-wire electricity meters, while the 100-pin 78K0/LG3-M microcontroller comes in a 14 mm x 14 mm LQFP and is designed for single phase 3-wire electricity meters.

The new 78K0/Lx3-M microcontrollers simplify smart electricity meter designs by offering a rich set of integrated analog and digital peripherals. The metrology engine consists of a high-precision 24-bit delta-sigma analog-to-digital (A/D) converter; power calculation hardware with calibration capability; power quality management circuits to detect power outages, current peaks, and voltage peaks; and anti-tampering circuits to ensure the integrity of power usage data. The devices also come with an LCD controller, able to drive up to a 160 segment display, and Flash memory ranging from 16 kb to 60 kb. The 78K0/Lx3-M microcontrollers can manage communication sub-systems through various serial interfaces.

Samples of the new MCUs are scheduled for availability in January 2010, with mass production scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2010.