T&D World Magazine

Microchip Unveils Microcontrollers for Smart Metering Applications

Microchip Technology Inc. has announced the 8-bit PIC18F87J72 microcontroller (MCU) family for single-phase, multi-function smart-metering and energy-monitoring applications. Featuring a dual-channel, high-performance 16-/24-bit Analog Front End (AFE), the new MCUs provide an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for developing meters that exceed International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) class 0.5 performance.

The family includes 64 or 128 KB Flash program memory and 4 KB RAM, to enable time-of-use and multi-tariff functions; as well as a high level of peripheral integration, including an LCD driver, hardware Real-Time Clock/Calendar (RTCC) and a Charge-Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) that enables a capacitive-touch user interface. Energy-calculation firmware, a development board and a reference design are available, providing a complete solution that lowers costs and shortens time to market for a variety of smart-metering and energy-monitoring applications.

The PIC18F87J72 Single-Phase Energy-Meter Reference Design (part #ARD00280) can be obtained through Microchip sales representatives for evaluation. Featuring a shunt-based single-phase meter with energy-calculation firmware and GUI-assisted software calibration, the reference design enables calculation of active/reactive energy, forward/reverse energy, active/reactive/apparent power and RMS current/Voltage. Customers can reuse or customize the free firmware for their needs, which further shortens time to market and enables them to differentiate their products in the marketplace. The firmware, PC software and Gerbers are available for download at http://www.microchip.com/get/F0U4.

Additionally, the PIC18F87J72-based Energy Monitoring PICtail Daughter Board (part #ARD00330) can be plugged into Microchip’s Explorer 16 Development Board (part #DM240001) for easy development of energy-measurement and monitoring devices. The PICtail board is expected to be available in November 2010.

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