Smart data concentrator module helps development times to be slashed by up to nine months

January 30, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Texas Instruments Incorporated has unveiled the Smart Data Concentrator Evaluation Module (EVM) at DistribuTECH 2013.

The TMDSDC-EVMAM335x is an integrated EVM that gives developers the ultimate level of flexibility and scalability with numerous performance, cost and connectivity options for their data concentrator designs. Based on TI’s Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processors, the EVM includes advanced hardware and software that reduce development time by up to nine months while still supporting connectivity to more than 1,000 smart meters. The Smart Data Concentrator EVM expands the functionality of designs and enables quick connectivity to the smart grid. Developers can easily plug in different connectivity modules, including Sub-1GHz (LPRF), general packet radio service (GPRS), near field communication (NFC) and TI’s power line communication (PLC) system-on-module contains a C2000 Piccolo F28PLC83 and AFE031 analog front end for robust G3 and PRIME support.

In addition, the data concentrator EVM offers an extensive open-source Linux software development kit that includes fully customizable, pre-written code. Developers can easily add functionality and features to data concentrator designs without the hassle of writing and tweaking code.  It also includes resources such as PLC stacks (PLC-Lite, PRIME, G3, IEEE-P1901.2), network protocols and applications like DLMS/COSEM so developers can customize their products for multiple regional and global standards. Developers can also leverage the customizable hardware and software to easily fit the new data concentrator evaluation module into a final product. With a sophisticated evaluation module that saves up to nine months in the design cycle, developers can instead focus on getting a differentiated product to market more quickly.

The new Smart Data Concentrator EVM features Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processors provide the necessary performance headroom for the complex routing algorithm in the data concentrator to connect with more than 1,000 e-meters.

The flexible Sitara processor portfolio is scalable from 300 MHz to 1 GHz based on customers’ performance and cost needs.  Integrated communication interfaces include two Ethernet (MAC) ports, USB and up to eight UARTs for easy connectivity to other systems on the smart grid.