Greenvity communication-interface SoCs integrate HomePlug Green PHY and ZigBee

Date
08/08/2012

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Single-chip interface combines powerline and wireless communication for smart energy management

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Greenvity's new GV7011 automatically switches between power-line and wireless communication in HEMS and BEMS applications as channel-noise conditions dictate.

Greenvity Communications introduces a communications interface SOC (system-on-chip) family that integrates PLC (powerline communication) and wireless capabilities on a single chip. The Greenvity Hybrii family supports both HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee worldwide standards simultaneously to enable robust and intelligent connectivity for a variety of home and building energy-management and electric-vehicle applications. The first Hybrii family members include the GV7011 for smart grid, smart energy management, industrial, and consumer applications, and the GV7012 device for rugged, high temperature conditions. The GV7011 makes smart grid products possible that integrate both PLC and wireless communication capabilities. The single-chip PHY (physical-layer interface) allows customers to reduce costs and power consumption by using one chip and one board, rather than the traditional approach requiring multiple chips and boards to support both standards. Product manufacturers that deploy the GV7011 in an energy-efficient appliance can assure consumers of reliable, robust communication and ease of use. Consumers don't have to worry about which standard an appliance supports and can place the appliance anywhere in their house without worrying about wireless reception issues or multi-phase issues related to power lines. The GV7011 automatically chooses the best medium to transmit energy-related data—wirelessly or via existing power lines—and extends the range to cover an entire home or building. If wireless nodes are noisy due to interference then the IC enables PLC, and vice versa, ensuring reliable communication. "The Hybrii family of single-chip energy-management [communication interfaces] will help enable consumers and utilities to take advantage of the energy and cost savings promised by the smart grid and smart-energy systems," said Hung Nguyen, president and CEO of Greenvity Communications.

The GV7011 supports simultaneous operation of HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee wireless channels, providing high reliability and robust connectivity. The GV7011 integrates the analog front-end, RF, baseband, MAC, and embedded memory. It also includes an 8051 MCU for low-power energy management. The GV7011 offers high performance with data rate up to 9.8 Mbps in PLC mode and 250 kbps in wireless mode. The interface IC also provides SPI, Ethernet 10/100, UART, and GPIO interfaces. The GV7011 chip provides backbone, two-way communication in HEMS (home energy-management system) and BEMS (building energy-management system) applications such as smart meters, energy-efficient appliances, home gateways, routers, HVAC, and thermostats, enabling demand response and load balancing that can reduce energy usage by more than 50 percent. For MDUs (multi-dwelling units) such as condos and apartment buildings, existing power lines can transfer data and cover a longer distance than wireless alone, while ZigBee will cover each room wirelessly. Additional applications include solar inverters and controlled lighting.

The GV7012 supports EV (electric vehicle) and EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) or battery chargers. The IC with HomePlug Green PHY PLC integrates the analog front-end, baseband, MAC, embedded memory, and an 8051 MCU. It can support data rates up to 9.8 Mbps over power line. The GV7012 also provides SPI, Ethernet 10/100, UART, and GPIO interfaces. The IC withstands rugged conditions and automotive-grade temperatures, -40 to +105 °C making the GV7012 attractive for demanding environments such as inside a car where high-temperature capability is a requirement.

HomePlug Green PHY PLC and ZigBee wireless communication are emerging as the de-facto standards for smart grid, HEMS, and BEMS according to the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). In addition, the international SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and the ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers' Association) have selected HomePlug Green PHY PLC as the communication standard for the universal charging system that supports both AC charging and fast DC charging in electric vehicles. Greenvity GV7011 product deeplink GV7012 product deeplink Other organizations mentioned: ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers' Association) AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) HomePlug Alliance SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) ZigBee Alliance

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