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Smart Meter

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The spiraling costs of residential and enterprise energy requirements are forcing public utility companies across the world to be more efficient in the way they manage power. Utility companies are starting to deploy electronic metering systems that capture and transmit usage information with the long-term goal to empower and educate users as to the real-time cost and impact of using an appliance at a particular moment in time.

Optimized ARM Smart Meter Block Diagram 

 

 


The rollout of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) will enable appliances that communicate inside the home, automatically shifting the utility supplying power to the home based on the lowest cost supplier, and enabling sophisticated user behavior to avoid blackouts and reduce the size of utility bills.

To realize the vision of AMI infrastructure, the smart meter must:

  • Communicate with other intelligent appliances inside the residence or enterprise. The strategy for providing this communication path varies from country to country and in some cases region to region. Zigbee has gained significant adoption in early trials. However, both WiFi and HomePlug offer benefits for certain deployments.
  • Communicate information securely across the network to preserve sensitive user information.
  • Incorporate enough latent horsepower to enable the delivery of future services without the need for a truck roll.

The ARM® design philosophy, centered on low power, energy efficient design, shows in the more than 10 years spent supporting silicon companies that need to design platforms under stringent power dissipation requirements.

ARM processors are architected to minimize current draw, both when systems are fully operational and when they are inactive, providing incredibly power efficient processing for tethered applications. While important for mobile products like phones, this is incredibly important for meters that are expected to operate for periods up to 20 years on a single battery. The highly economical approach of the embedded processors, coupled with ARM Physical IP power management kits, reduces the power of the complete SoC. These kits incorporate an optimized set of physical IP libraries, memories and standard cells, further improving the useful workload/joule metric of the complete system.

The broad set of silicon Partners pursuing the microcontroller space using either the Cortex™-M0 or Cortex-M3 processors also increases the familiarity and availability of resources and software that can be utilized in designs, along with an assurance that OEMs will not be unduly locked in to a particular silicon supplier.

 


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