Powerline comms SoC from ST employs HomePlug standards

October 15, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
STMicroelectronics' System-on-Chip for smart-home and smart-energy designs – a “hybrid-network intelligent gateway” - has been released following initial applications developed with Tatung

The ST2100 STreamPlug System-on-Chip (SoC) targets smart-home and smart-energy applications, and is already incorporated in intelligent products developed jointly by ST and Tatung. An intelligent-gateway SoC, ST’s ST2100 STreamPlug combines a high-performance processing subsystem with Powerline Communication (PLC), security and peripheral features to support hybrid networks using popular wired and wireless standards. The ST2100 is designed to support IEEE 1905.1 that enables customers to converge Ethernet, Wi-Fi and other networking standards in new gateway or hub designs. The ST2100 StreamPlug supports PLC protocols such as HomePlug AV and HomePlug Green PHY, as well as IEEE 1901 Broadband Powerline connectivity.

The ST2100 STreamPlug SoC application processor features the ARM926EJ-S core operating at 330 MHz, and provides an external memory-management subsystem. Also integrated on-chip is a complete PLC modem and analogue front end, USB2.0 and Ethernet interfaces, a colour-LCD controller and a dedicated security engine supporting advanced cryptography algorithms such as AES, DES/3DES and IPSec.

From a software point of view, virtualised machine support provides interfaces to guest operating systems, such as Linux Kernel 2.6 distributed directly by ST. Support for PLC protocols includes the latest IEEE 1901 Broadband Powerline (BPL) standard, as well as HomePlug standards such as 200Mbps HomePlug AV for carrying HDTV and VoIP traffic and HomePlug Green PHY optimised for smart-grid applications.

ST’s collaboration with Tatung has led to Tatung’s Gateway One home networking hub and other smart-energy devices. The Gateway One enables users to setup multi-bearer home networks combining Ethernet, WLAN, PLC and multimedia devices, enhancing opportunities to improve energy efficiency, security, comfort and convenience throughout the home. Tatung’s Meter Bridge and Home-Area Network (HAN) Bridge enable multi-occupancy dwellings to benefit from smart-energy applications, while solving consumption and billing challenges. The M1i and M3 are intelligent devices that provide energy management as well as network connectivity for devices plugged into the AC line. The M1i is optimised for industrial applications, while the M3 is featured for domestic