TI targets smart meters with analog front end
7/20/2012 11:12 AM EDT
NEW YORK—Texas Instruments strengthened its commitment to the smart meter market this week with its first integrated e-metering product that it claims offers the lowest power.
Designed for power monitoring and control of smart e-meters, TI’s latest line of analog front ends delivers 2 milliwatts per channel, which is “about a little over a third less power consumption per channel against competing solutions,” according to Marc Royer, marketing manager for Precision Analog at Dallas-based TI.
The ADS131E08 family consists of analog-to-digital converters with a built-in programmable gain amplifier, internal reference and an onboard oscillator. It is available with 8, 6 or 4 channels and in 16- or 24-bit resolution to support a variety of smart e-metering applications, from two-phase systems to three-phase with tamper detection.
Smart meters represent a huge market opportunity for TI.According to IDC Energy Insights' Worldwide Quarterly Smart Meter Tracker, the global smart meter industry shipped nearly 7 million meters in the first quarter of 2012. Shipments were up 28.8 percent year-over-year with shipments projected to grow 111.3 percent on an annual basis from 2011 to the end of 2012.
But TI isn’t the first semiconductor supplier to have an integrated e-metering solution, Royer said.“There are other manufacturers that do have a solution, but the advantages that we have against the existing solutions are attractive to our customers.”
In addition to the lowest power, the ADS131E08 family also provides the highest signal-to-ratio and distortion levels, he added. Robust AC/DC specifications include a signal-to-noise ratio of 107 dB, ENOB of up to 20.4 bits, input signal range of +/-2.4 V and a common mode rejection ratio of -110 dB. This allows the analog front ends to exceed 0.1 e-metering performance with less than 0.1 percent error for 1 to 1,000 dynamic range.The devices also provide the lowest price per channel by 40 percent at $0.74.
TI is working on bringing higher performance, lower power and smaller system-level solutions to smart meter customers, Royer said.