STMicroelectronics’ ST8500 is said to be the first powerline-communication solution to feature a G3-PLC CENELEC B certified protocol stack for industrial applications beyond utility metering, such as in smart cities, street lighting, renewable-energy management, railway smart tunnels and stations. In addition to covering all G3-PLC standards and frequency bands, ST8500 also offers certified libraries for all PRIME standards, from PRIME 1.3.6 to PRIME 1.4 in CENELEC and FCC bands. Each of the stacks features high-performing routing algorithms to ensure superior network coverage in all application domains.
Fully programmable, containing a dedicated real-time engine to handle the modulation and coding schemes of different powerline-communication standards and an Arm Cortex-M4F core for upper-layer processing and system management, the ST8500 allows users to address multiple markets and regions with a single hardware platform, and future-proof assets in the field by remote update. Dedicated peripherals for smart-energy applications, including an AES cryptographic engine, are also integrated. Consuming less than 100 mW in receive mode, the ST8500 meets the most stringent industrial specifications to minimize the grid load imposed by new smart meters.
With a complete Analog Front End (AFE) on-chip, the ST8500 connects directly to the company’s STLD1 line driver to create a complete single-vendor powerline-transceiver solution in the market. The STLD1 ensures reliable communication even across noisy cables, with high drive capability and high linearity over a wide output range of 18V in single-ended or 36V in differential mode. The two-chip set delivers best-in-class performance, ultra-low power consumption, flexibility, and cost-effective connectivity for smart-grid and IoT applications.