Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Elster Group selects Silicon Labs' digital isolator IC for smart grid meter

AUSTIN, USA: Silicon Laboratories Inc. announced that Elster, a global leader in smart metering solutions, has chosen the Si8422 5 kV digital isolator IC for its sophisticated AS1440 electronic polyphase meter designed for Smart Grid applications.

Elster offers a complete line of electronic and electromechanical polyphase meters for residential, commercial and industrial applications that can be easily incorporated into Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems for Smart Grid deployment.

According to ABI Research, the number of smart electricity meters deployed worldwide is expected to grow to 212 million in 2014, nearly three times the 76 million units deployed in 2009.

Elster’s intelligent AS1440 polyphase meter, which incorporates the Si8422 digital isolator, provides precise electricity measurement, anti-tampering features and reliable data transfer for industrial and high-power commercial applications. The AS1440 meter supports both direct and current/voltage transformer (CT/VT) connections and 4-quadrant measurement.

“Silicon Labs’ Si8422 digital isolator meets the very high performance, reliability and security standards of our electronic polyphase meters,” said Rainer Miermann, design and development manager at the Elster Group. “Smart meters must operate safely and reliably in harsh outdoor environments prone to transient spikes. The Si8422 IC provides a robust isolation solution that is critical to the fail-safe operation of one of our most advanced smart electricity meters.”

The Si8422 is a member of Silicon Labs’ popular Si84xx digital isolator family, which supports high-speed data transmission up to 150 Mbps while providing up to 5 kV of isolation. The Si84xx family significantly improves RF susceptibility and RF emissions performance over existing digital isolation solutions, which is important to the security and reliability of high-performance metering solutions.

The Si84xx digital isolator family also provides vastly superior reliability and immunity to temperature and aging compared to traditional optocouplers, making it an optimal isolation solution for green energy and industrial applications.

“Offering superior electrostatic discharge performance, robust tolerance to electromagnetic noise and high-speed operation, the Si84xx family provides best-in-class digital isolation technology that’s critical to sophisticated smart electricity meters such as Elster’s industry-leading AS1440,” said Mark Thompson, vice president of Embedded Mixed-Signal products at Silicon Labs. “Growing deployment of smart metering systems will continue to drive demand for CMOS-based isolation solutions like the Si84xx ICs.”

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