Smart Meters Get Smarter With New Microcontrollers

August 20, 2014

Smart meter

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced the newest addition to its TX04 series of ARM® Cortex®-M4F core-based microcontrollers (MCUs). The TMPM411F20XBG MCU facilitates electric power calculation and communication in smart meters, as well as sensing and communications in other measurement devices. Samples are now available in the U.S.

A typical smart meter comprises separate controllers for electric power calculation, data communication, and output display. By integrating multiple functionalities, the new MCU achieves independent control of the electric power calculation and communication control in a single chip, reducing the circuit board area within the smart meter.

“As use of smart meters and other advanced sensing devices escalates, there is a need to reduce their overall form factor while increasing performance. One way to achieve this is to offer controllers that allow development of smaller products with greater functionality,” said Jun Kawaguchi, senior business development manager, Mixed-Signal Business Unit at TAEC. “Toshiba is committed to developing microcontrollers that support widespread use of smart meters and other sensing solutions for utility applications.”

According to market research firm IBISWorld, the smart meter manufacturing industry is expected to grow 17.7 percent in 2014, reaching $1.5 billion overall. Moreover, the US federal government has committed $3.4 billion for grid modernization, further fueling demand for smart meters and enabling products.

The new MCU implements tamper detection and failure detection with very low power consumption, and also incorporates key security functions suitable for secure network communication. These include Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) and Entropy Source Generator (ESG). Its large on-chip Flash memory allows for robust code and data storage as required for an extensive service lifetime.

For more information on the new microcontroller or to order a sample, visit www.toshiba.com/taec.

Source: PR Newswire

Photo courtesy of Christian Haugen through a Creative Commons License

 


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Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.  
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