T&D World Magazine

Silicon Labs and IMST Collaborate on Comprehensive Smart Energy Solutions

Silicon Laboratories Inc. and IMST GmbH have introduced a turnkey wireless M-Bus solution designed for the smart energy market. The comprehensive hardware/software solution combines IMST’s wireless M-Bus with Silicon Labs’ Si10xx wireless microcontroller (MCU) technology to simplify the deployment of ultra-low-power, high-performance, pre-certified wireless M-Bus modules for smart meters.

IMST’s iM871A wireless M-Bus module offers a cost-effective RF solution for smart metering applications connecting electricity meters with data concentrators in the 868 MHz frequency band. Using Silicon Labs’ high-performance Si1002 wireless MCU, the iM871A module can achieve a link budget up to 120 dB when operating in R2 mode. This link budget is especially critical in addressing wireless communication requirements in challenging environments inside residential and commercial buildings.

The iM871A module has a small footprint (17 mm x 19 mm), comes equipped with a serial interface as well as analog and digital inputs and outputs to accommodate interfaces with a customer’s system, and is fully compliant with the EN 13757-4 standard. The iM871A module solution is compatible with a wide range of wireless M-Bus devices in the field. The module supports all major unidirectional and bidirectional wireless M-Bus modes (S1, S2, T1, T2 and R2) in addition to all tolerance specifications, enabling the highest possible flexibility in metering environments.

As a member of Silicon Labs’ Wireless Partner Program, IMST has the expertise to provide comprehensive design services and support. IMST’s in-house test lab also can cover certification measurements required by manufacturers of end products.

The Si10xx wireless MCU family combines a 25 MHz 8051 core, EZRadioPRO sub-GHz RF transceiver, 64 kB of flash and a 10-bit ADC – all in a compact 5 mm x 7 mm package. The Si10xx family’s integrated power and low-noise amplifiers enable an extended RF range, high bandwidth and ultra-low power consumption. The Si10xx family provides the lowest active-mode current consumption (160 microamps per MHz). In sleep mode, the wireless MCUs consume only 315 nanoamps using the internal low frequency RTC. In deep-sleep mode, they can operate on as little as 25 nA with full RAM retention.

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