Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ST adds wireless, powerline to smart-meter chipset

William Payne
November 14, 2019

Swiss semiconductor maker STMicroelectronics has added wireless and powerline support to its smart-meter chipset. Used in smart electricity meters, ST’s ST8500 powerline communication (PLC) chipset will now allow smart meters to communicate through existing power cables or radio frequency (RF) waves, combining the strengths of both types of connection.

Where power lines may be too noisy for PLC, or where local regulations dictate, equipment makers can now implement wireless and PLC using the ST8500. The built-in RF capability lets equipment designers employ the ST8500’s feature integration in other smart devices such as gas and water smart meters, environmental monitors, lighting controllers, and industrial sensors.

ADD Grup, a European smart-metering solutions company, has been first to announce new hybrid PLC/wireless products that contain this enhanced chipset. “With wireless support now fully integrated in the ST8500 firmware, ST’s chipset is the perfect platform to enhance network performance, reliability, capacity, and scalability for our innovative electricity meters,” said Ruslan Casico, Head of Sales and Marketing at ADD Grup. “The hybrid PLC/wireless connectivity of these new products has helped us win important metering projects in EMEA, Russia, and Asia.”

Domenico Arrigo, General Manager, Industrial and Power Conversion Division, STMicroelectronics, said, “ADD Grup is leading the deployment of our chipset in the next generation of smart meters. By supporting RF communication alongside the leading PLC protocols, our market-proven chipset enables smart city and industry infrastructures worldwide to deliver more of their potential for saving the planet’s resources and enhancing control and efficiency.”