SAN JOSE, Calif. Arch Rock is releasing a software stack based on Internet Protocol standards for a new generation of radio chips aimed at smart meters. Analog Devices Inc. and Texas Instruments are expected to make the chips that will create neighborhood wireless mesh networks linking smart meters to utility networks.
The chips will be based on the IEEE 802.15.4g and .4e standards. They aim to replace largely proprietary radios, typically in sub-gigahertz bands, used in current smart meters.
Arch Rock's PhyNet-Grid software supports a range of standards. They include the 6LoWPAN, Roll and CoRE specifications from the Internet Engineering Task Force. The software also supports XML and EXI standards from the World Wide Web Consortium to deliver Web services over power and bandwidth constrained networks.
Some of the standards are still works in progress, but all are expected to be complete late this year or early in 2011. The company also pledged to make its code compatible with the Smart Energy Profile 2.0 standard for smart grid networks inside the home.
"Now there is no more reason to hide behind proprietary stuff," said Roland Arca, chief executive of Arch Rock. "Utilities don’t have to live with undocumented radios and software," he said.
Arch Rock delivered early versions of its code to smart meter makers starting late last year. One large meter maker will announce a partnership with Arch Rock later this year, Acra said.
"ADI has been heavily involved in shaping the emerging IEEE 802.15.4g standard," said Ian Lawee, an energy segment marketing manager for Analog Devices. "We are closely monitoring its progress and plan to provide silicon solutions that will allow our customers to deploy networks that meet the standard's specifications," he said.