Integrated isolated energy-measurement chipset for embedded apps touts accuracy & flexibility

Date
11/21/2013

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Designers can now measure AC or DC power usage from any phase without the need for bulky sensors, optocouplers, or an extra power supply for the measurement subsystem with the compact MAX78700/MAX78615+LMU isolated energy measurement chipset with preloaded firmware from Maxim Integrated Products.

Engineers face unique challenges when embedding high-voltage AC (or DC) measurement into their design. As in electricity utility meters, isolation must be maintained between different phases, which historically has been accomplished using bulky current sensors. For most other systems, however, the need for full galvanic isolation from the rest of the system is often required to meet safety standards. This demands additional isolation components that penalize both size and cost of the system.

The MAX78700/MAX78615 chipset addresses these challenges by integrating a unique isolated interface between the analog (MAX78700) and digital (MAX78615) domains and requiring only a single pulse transformer. This innovative approach significantly reduces size, complexity, and cost. This complete solution includes nonvolatile memory and preloaded application-specific firmware, providing an autonomous measurement subsystem ready for integration into any system. The chipset is ideal for sola r inverters, data centers, outdoor lighting, renewable energy systems, and smart grid applications.

Key Advantages 
-High integration: integrates nonvolatile memory, upgradeable measurement firmware, isolated power delivery to up to three MAX78700s (from a single MAX78615), and an isolated data path between ICs using a single pulse transformer.
-Flexibility: scales to thousands of volts of isolation and contains application-specific firmware for a wide range of energy-measurement requirements. 
-Reduced size: eliminates the requirement for an isolated power supply and bulky sense transformers. 
-Faster time to market: includes preloaded, field-upgradeable firmware that performs all the necessary signal processing, compensation, and data formatting for accurate real-time measurement.

“Adding energy measurement to existing applications can be challenging,” said Kris Ardis, Executive Director of Energy Solutions at Maxim Integrated. “You don't want to change your power architecture or use expensive sensors, but you still need to meet safety regulations and fit your form factor. The MAX7870/MAX78615 isolated energy management solution addresses all these concerns with an out-of-the-box measurement that doesn't need a lot of space or engineering time for integration."

Availability and Pricing 
The MAX78615 processor is available in a small 24-pin TQFN package. 
The MAX78700 multichannel ADC is available in a small 10-pin µMAX® package.

Maxim Integrated

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