Complete IP offering for power metering applications

April 15, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Grenoble-based silicon-intellectual property (IP) specialist Dolphin Integration is introducing a complete subsystem for Smart Grid applications: the first Silicon IP combining a mixed-signal front end (MFE) with a power and energy computation engine (PCE).

The IP enables a metering product to achieve class 0.1% at the system-level with several sensors while targeting a measurement range up to 1/10,000. The Dolphin solution optimises trade-offs between MFE and PCE and ensure performance as good as 0.05% accuracy at SoC-level.

With experience in high resolution industrial converters for silicon IP, Dolphin Integration provides access to 3rd party IP for fabless and SoC silicon integrators targeting growing markets such as Utility Billing meters, Smart plug/outlets or Home appliances. To simplify integration, the analogue front-end (AFE) is augmented with a range of peripherals: temperature sensor, low-drift voltage reference and the relevant embedded power management, ensuring immunity to noise and cross-talk.

The MFE converts real-time sensor signals into serial digital figures for current and voltage.

PCE computes a range of derived values (Line frequency, Irms, Vrms…), energy consumption in real time and its cumulative value.

By licensing this IP that includes MFE and PCE, a fabless system designer can ensure conformance with the standard capabilities requested by the utility, and can focus on differentiators such as specific activity reports to users for helping to save energy.

The MFE features; 20-bit and 21-bit Delta-Sigma ADCs ; measurement accuracy of 0.05% over a range of 1:5,000 for 250 µOhm shunt with 21-bit MFE, to 1:10,000 for a current transformer with 20-bit MFE with its automatic gain controller; supported sensors of both shunt and current transformer type; low drift voltage reference; temperature sensor; low noise regulator.

PCE calculations include; Active, Reactive and Apparent Power, and Energy; Instantaneous Power; Irms, Vrms; Power factor; Line frequency; Voltage sag, peak detection, Over-voltage/current; Anti tampering; and Phase angle.

The IP is available in 0.18 µm and 0.13 µm silicon in several world Top-10 foundries; it uses under 14 mW in 0.18 µm; and under 12 mW in 0.13 µm.

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