Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsemi embedded software helps synchronise smart grids

Steve Rogerson
November 3, 2015
Microsemi has announced its first complete power profile-compliant embedded software to address increased industry demand for synchronisation of smart grids and synchrophasors in the power industry.
The software addresses IEEE C37.238-2011 power profile requirements with grandmaster, boundary clock and slave only ordinary clock functionality, while providing what is claimed to be industry-leading synchronisation performance.
"Our new power profile leverages Microsemi's leadership position in IEEE 1588 and responds to our customers' demand for solutions that bridge traditional communication networks and substations requiring the power profile," said Maamoun Seido, vice president at California-based Microsemi. "This enhanced software from Microsemi allows both communications and power customers to address the most stringent timing requirements in power system applications."
The software leverages the company's ZLS30390 IEEE 1588-2008 protocol engine. It interfaces to its time synchronisation algorithm and software programmable system synchronisers, such as the ZL3034x and ZL3036x product families.
This combines key elements required for smart grid power substations: timing to achieve better than 1µs performance with holdover, phase lock loop (PLL) system synchronisers and precise clock synthesisers. The IEEE 1588 profiles and synchronisation algorithms run on various host processor architectures, including Microsemi's SmartFusion 2 system-on-chip (SoC) field programmable gate array (FPGA), which can also be used to perform metering and critical security functions in a synchrophasor.
The company's Ethernet phys and switches complete the offering with accurate time stamping, which is essential for high performance synchronisation.
With this portfolio, users can implement the company's power profile-compliant software for smart grid applications and, in addition, use the default profile or telecoms profile for frequency. This allows users to support both telecoms and power deployments concurrently.
An August 2015 report from Industrial Manufacturing Market Research Reports explored the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global synchrophasors market, with estimated growth at a CAGR of 27.4 per cent from 2014 to 2019. The software addresses this expanding market as well as other applications such as carrier and edge routers and wireless backhaul.