Texas Instruments (TI) is committed to providing smart metering solutions that will enable smart grid deployment around the world.

The first key step to smart grid success is the deployment of smart electrical meters. These meters are considered communication engines, or gateways, communicating from outside the home to utilities inside the home, such as gas and water meter devices as well as home appliances, including thermostats, in-home displays and demand response units. Don’t forget about tomorrow’s electrical vehicle and distributed renewable energies sources either.

TI’s smart metering portfolio currently addresses these applications and others with devices, including ultra-low power MSP430™ microcontrollers (MCUs), Stellaris® ARM® Cortex™- M3 MCUs, C2000™ real time control MCUs, as well as low power RF ICs and RFID transponders and readers. TI’s worldwide network of field application engineers are available to assist in design and development for customers of all sizes and locations.

Modern smart meter architectures will need to address the continuous demand from utilities to support differentiated and evolving functions, which implies the need for application processors supporting larger memory footprint firmware, security with encryption techniques, such as AES, and a large amount of serial connectivity to interface with smart grid functions. Metrology and communications will always be involved, but each region worldwide has its own topology for wide area network (sometimes separated from local or neighbourhood area network) and home area network, making the designers’ choice more difficult when it comes to platform decisions.

These modern architectures will be installed in the field for the next 10-15 years and must be reliable and cost efficient to enable high volume deployment. The ability to deliver the entire solution enables the optimisation of the full system partitioning of reliability and cost.

TI’s comprehensive utility metering portfolio includes devices targeting electricity, water and gas metering, as well as power line communications (PLC) and radio frequency (RF) interfaces for advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) that allow customers to design the right smart grid solutions. TI’s active participation in the major metering consortium and worldwide working group ensures that its solutions are on the cutting edge, satisfying standard definitions and ensuring delivery of critical software infrastructure for developers.

From highly optimised application specific embedded processors, low power RF, power management and RFID, to dedicated software support for ZigBee, WMBUS, SFSK and OFDM modulations, TI offers the most complete solution set for smart metering.