Chapter 2: ASMgrid target market applications
Advanced metering market overview
As described by Pike Research, Smart Meters are the vanguard of Smart Grid deployments, and will represent a $3.9 billion global market by 2015, with penetration in that year still only reaching 18 percent of total installed electric meters. The opportunity is unprecedented as the industry undergoes a disruptive transition to incorporate new technologies enabling a more efficient, reliable, and bi-directional power distribution and transmission infrastructure.
As meters have transitioned to advanced smart meters, the path has followed a non-integrated approach, from both a silicon and component perspective.
Standard silicon offerings for these products lack high integration due to the investment cost plus challenges involved with silicon integration. At the equipment level, utilities have forced meter manufacturers to multisource components to reduce deployment risk and cost. The hope has been that interoperability among suppliers would lead to increased bargaining power and reduced deployment risk from supply-chain interruptions.
Another belief is that by using an integrated, standard offering, a meter manufacturer may lose their differentiation advantage. This lack of integration, however, results in higher part count and meter costs, which is contrary to the needs of residential markets where cost is critical to deploy in large volumes. Now, with the introduction of ASMgrid, Accent is able to address all the concerns of both meter manufacturers and energy suppliers.
. Increasing Differentiation
: ASMgrid moves board design down to the silicon level. ASMgrid’s modularity enables customers to dictate the final configuration insuring their end-equipment differentiation (versus a one-size-fit-all standard component approach).
. Accelerated Return-on-Investment:
o ASMgrid’s pre-integrated approach and turnkey offering dramatically reduces upfront development cost and time required with silicon development, making it more similar to an off-the-shelf silicon offering or ASSP.
o ASMgrid integrates an unprecedented number of technologies guaranteed to reduce a Smart Meter electronic BOM (up to 50 percent), benefiting manufacturers and utilities.
. Risk Reduction:
o Production is controlled by customer requirements, avoiding end-of-life or supply issues common with standard silicon providers.
o With ASMgrid1.0, meter manufacturers can start development today versus in years compared to a custom IC design approach.