AMI solutions utilise Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO transceivers

12th August 2013
Nat Bowers

Silicon Labs has today announced that its advanced EZRadioPRO transceivers have been selected by Robulink to provide sub-GHz wireless connectivity technology to its new AMI solutions. Integrating Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO transceivers, Robulink’s advanced metering infrastructure solutions enable utilities to quickly and economically implement next-generation smart meters that communicate wirelessly through intelligent mesh networks.

“Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO family simplifies the design, enhances the survivability and reduces the time to market for our RobuNet mesh network products. EZRadioPRO transceivers provide very high performance in terms of RF link budget and adjacent channel rejection, which are critical for Robulink to implement frequency hopping and self-forming network technologies for AMI and wireless sensor network applications,” comments Elvis Li, president of Robulink.

Wireless mesh networking can offer a viable option for the implementation of new AMI technologies for the smart grid. Capable of remote provisioning of time-critical services and demands, two-way communication metering systems are becoming increasingly popular with utilities companies. These sophisticated smart meter networks require reliability, adaptability, scalability, responsiveness and lower life-cycle costs. Robulink’s RobuNet intelligent mesh network products provide a cost-effective, plug-and-play solution that meets these AMI requirements by adapting reliably to challenging environments.

Helping utilities to implement comprehensive AMI systems, Robulink supplies a three-tier architecture consisting of wireless smart meters, wireless aggregators and back-end energy management systems. Robulink’s RobuNet solutions are based on open interfaces that allow seamless connection with smart meters and aggregators from other manufacturers, as well as connectivity with any in-home energy management system or smart appliance. RobuNet also uses multi-channel frequency hopping technology based on FCC Part 15.247 Rules, which are widely deployed internationally to enhance noise isolation and reduce interference.

RobuNet mesh network products, such as the RDDMRE4 meter communication unit and the RCJP242R wireless data collector, integrate Silicon Labs’ EZRadioPRO transceivers. These advanced RobuNet products provide robust RF links and intelligent mesh network routing for a variety of data communications-enabled smart meters, data collectors and aggregators in AMI networks deployed in the field.

Diwakar Vishakhadatta, vice president and general manager of embedded systems at Silicon Labs, commented: “As one of China’s leading smart metering manufacturers, Robulink is a pioneer in developing intelligent mesh networking solutions for AMI. Our EZRadioPRO transceivers provide a very good fit for Robulink’s RobuNet portfolio by enabling them to develop highly reliable, scalable and flexible wireless smart metering products optimized for China’s rapidly emerging smart grid and also for export markets.”

EZRadioPRO Transceivers

The EZRadioPRO family features the industry’s highest performance, lowest power sub-GHz transceivers, transmitters and receivers designed to maximize range and battery life for power-sensitive wireless systems. Offering frequency coverage from 119 to 1050 MHz, EZRadioPRO transceivers offer industry-leading RF performance enabling extended wireless range and compliance with the industry’s most stringent regulatory standards. EZRadioPRO transceivers offer best-in-class sensitivity (-126 dBm), transmit output power (+20 dBm), link budget (146 dB) and adjacent channel rejection (58 dB). EZRadioPRO transceivers also achieve a 50 nA sleep/standby current with register retention, consuming 75 percent less current in sleep mode than competing products. This exceptional power efficiency results in fewer battery replacements and/or reduced battery size for wireless networking applications.

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