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Enlit Europe Introduces Eval Kit for Prime’s Hybrid Smart Grid Comms Standard

November 27, 2023

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STMicroelectronics will be showcasing an evaluation kit that incorporates both power-line and sub-GHz RF communications for smart grid infrastructure at Enlit Europe this week.

The evaluation kit, known as EVLKST8500GH-2, combines STMicroelectronics' ST8500 power-line communication SoC, STLD1 line driver, and S2-LP low-power long-range sub-GHz radio transceiver. This chipset is certified to the v1.4 Hybrid specification of the power-line communication industry body Prime Alliance, which includes members such as ST, Microchip, Renesas, and Intel.

"Messages between two nodes in the power-line communication [PLC] and RF hybrid network are sent over the best available medium: PLC or RF," according to STMicroelectronics. "The media selection for each link in the network is done automatically and adjusted dynamically, enabling highly efficient hybrid mesh networking."

To start a network, at least two of the EVLKST8500GH-2 kits are required, and the necessary firmware and documentation package is provided by STMicroelectronics with the STSW-ST8500GH-2.

Certification to the 1.4 Hybrid specification "facilitates the deployment of smart meters and enables Prime to support applications in smart-home and smart-city segments by ensuring interoperability and compatibility between devices and infrastructures," said STMicroelectronics. Additionally, the S2-LP radio enables long-range communication in both the license-free ISM and SRD frequency bands, while the ST8500 allows support for powerline and hybrid RF protocol stacks across global frequency bands like CENELEC and FCC.

STMicroelectronics will also be showcasing its postage stamp-sized ST87M01 NB-IoT industrial module series at Enlit Europe. These modules are compliant with 3GPP Release 15 and are designed for connection to massively-deployed cellular IoT network infrastructure.

The first two variants of the ST87M01 series are now available: the ST87M01-1000 NB-IoT module and the ST87M01-1100, which includes a GNSS receiver for location-aware applications such as asset trackers. A secure element can be integrated for GSMA eSA (security assurance) certification.

Visit STMicroelectronics at stand 7.2.A70 at Enlit Europe, taking place from November 28-30, 2023, at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles.

Find the power-line and RF comms evaluation kit here.

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