Watteco Uses TI Chip for Smart Grid Solution

  • Posted on: 10 November 2010
  • By: chw staff

Watteco and Texas Instruments (TI) have teamed up to collaborate on a new line of ultra-low-power and intelligent communications solution for the next generation of connected appliances. Designed for Smart Grid applications, the system combines Watteco's WPC PLC (Power Line Communication) technology with TI's MSP430 microcontroller (MCU) for low-power energy-management applications. Leveraging each other’s technology the solution will offer an easy to develop platform that enables interoperability between a combination of wireless and PLC devices in the home.

A multi-chip module will be developed as the partnership first prototype in the form a SmartPlug reference design created specifically for the HOMES collaborative innovation.  "The SmartPlug is a Plug & Control solution that will enable the creation of a Home Area Network (HAN) over the residential electrical wire simply by connecting devices over a home's electrical wiring," explained Didier Pellegrin, HOMES program manager.

The collaboration between TI and Watteco is focused on the development of a multi-chip module that will enable OEMs to develop smart appliances with IP-based bi-directional communication capabilities using existing indoor/outdoor electrical wiring. The module will combine TI's 16-bit MSP430 RISC-based smart mixed-signal MCU with Watteco's IPv6-based WPC-IP PLC transceiver to create an ultra-low-power solution in an extremely small form factor.

According to Emmanuel Sambuis, MSP430 general manager. "The HAN will play a critical role in next-generation energy management, and will require embedded systems that have the intelligence, superior power efficiency and industry-standard bi-directional communications capabilities to enable a wide variety of emerging appliances. Our joint development program with Watteco is aimed at delivering those capabilities."