NXP puts ARM in energy-monitoring chip

NXP puts ARM in energy-monitoring chip

Rick Merritt  10/11/2010 3:00 AM EDT


SAN JOSE, Calif. – NXP Semiconductors is rolling out a 32-bit ARM-based energy monitoring chip aimed at a range of consumer and industrial uses. TheEM773 can track a variety of energy consumption statistics for non-billing applications.

The NXP chip aims at sockets in servers where competing chips already handle such functions. But NXP also foresees a growing range of monitoring applications from home energy meters to devices used in building automation and factory floor management.

The chip comes at a time when many are exploring the market for devices tied into demand-based pricing of energy, especially for the emerging concept of smart appliances on a home-area network.

The consumer market “is the toughest because there is the highest pressure on cost, but such chips could see first use in devices like air conditioners,” said Rolf Hertel, director of the smart metering segment for NXP.

The EM773 includes a full metrology engine that can measure real, reactive and apparent power as well as voltage and current. NXP said the device measures active power in Watts within one percent accuracy and can also calculate power factor ratios and total harmonic distortion.

The chip also includes a 48 MHz Cortex M0 processor core, up to 32 Kbytes flash and an I2C serial interface. NXP is making an applications programming interface available for the device.

The company is also providing a full reference design module for $250 that uses the Wireless M-Bus popular in Europe. An open-source application that can supply data on kilowatt hours ships with the module.

The chip itself is available now for $1.80 in ten thousand unit quantities.



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