Most standard product offerings implement pin-point solutions to accelerate time to market and lower verification costs. As a consequence, design modifications result in lengthy development times and associated costs. Accent’s product approach is different. ASMgrid pre-integrates silicon proven technologies in a modular architecture and corresponding verification strategy to insure maximum solution flexibility. The techniques and technologies are the result of hundreds of successful customer solutions developed by Accent.
At the interconnect level, the platform utilizes a bus topology that has been tuned to numerous use case scenarios. DMAs and peripherals are organized based on bandwidth requirements as well as potential differences between different types of Smart Appliances. Appropriate system blocks incorporate Accent interface IP to support different bus architectures possibly required based on end-product specifications. Flexible low power options are also incorporated ranging from configurable power islands to circuit design techniques. All assumptions and critical product requirements have been tested in both software simulations as well as an FPGA development board, which is also available as an ASMgrid additional validation tool for customer design modifications.
The ASMgrid1.0 reference silicon device provides an additional verification milestone and has undergone extensive characterization separately and as a component in the ASMgrid development kit. The development kit, as mentioned previously, has also been certified as a ZigBee Compliant Platform.
ASMgrid1.0 reference silicon details
For those requiring a full-featured ASMgrid configuration and quickest time to market at lowest development cost, Accent offers the ASMgrid1.0 reference silicon device. The highly integrated silicon device integrates the functionality found in as many as 5 ICs. Alternatively, customers may work with Accent to define derivatives with a path to mass production in as little as 3-6 months.
ASMgrid1.0 Reference Silicon Details (continued) Target market(s)
. AMI and advanced Smart Meter
. Leading class RF performance
. Up to 50 percent BOM reduction
. Flexibility for future upgradeability
. ARM Cortex-M3 for application and communication processing
o 48 KB SRAM
o 60 DMIPS
. 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 radio transceiver and MAC
o ZigBee Pro Compliant
. Powerline Modem
o Integrated PHY and MAC
o IEC TS 61334-5-3 Compliant
o Guaranteed QOS
. 384 KB FLASH
. Embedded Temperature Sensor
. Communication Peripherals
o SPI, IIC, GPIO, Ext Mem I/Fs
. AES Hardware Accelerator
. Optimized Power Management
You make a point that is often overlooked. How will this actually save the consumer money or reduce power usage? Do I shut down my A/C during the heat of the day and turn it on at night when it is cool? Turn off the refrigerator during the day, so my food spoils and the freezer thaws out? How about my clothes? Do I stay up to run my loads at 2am in order to save $1? SmartGrid has great promise in allowing the power company to monitor outages and automate meter reading. Other uses are not well defined. I suppose that they can seriously jack up the rates during the day, but that is NOT going to save the consumer any money.
It seems to me that SmartGrids have been massively over sold and over hyped.
What can you **really** do with SmartGrid/SmartMeters that you can't do with current technology?
Current technology already provides load shaping for water heaters and space heaters via ripple controllers. That makes sense because: water heating is inherently a background activity which can happen any time so long as hot water is stored for when it is needed. Water heating is also a large load and controlling it has dramatic effect.
Applying the same model to most other domestic load just does not work. When I want to sit down with my bowl of popcorn to watch a TV program, I expect my corn popper and TV to work **now**, not at 3am when the power company has some surplus generation.
Ripple control of water heaters also works because there is absolutely zero effort from the consumer and very close to zero impact. Providing people with information is pointless unless they are prepared to work their lives around it.
Are you really going to gate your decision to wash some clothes or make a cup of coffee on a change in power costs that the power company offers to you?
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.