PLC and LoRa integrated on single modem platform

May 04, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Forming a wireless platform for smart grid, smart metering and IoT applications, Semtech’s powerline-plus-wireless EV8600 PLC+RF+LoRa Platform enables dual-phy AMI networks with wireless capability.

The dual modem (PLC+RF System-on-Chip) with integrated LoRa RF technology is presented as the first fully integrated power line and wireless modem for smart grid, smart metering and IoT, reducing operational costs in advance metering infrastructures (AMI). It also, Semtech says, enables seamless LoRa gateway network deployment of IoT projectss for smart city and industrial automation.


By offering both a Power Line Communications (PLC) modem operating at 10-500 kHZ and an RF modem operating in the range of 142-1050 MHz, the EV8600 enables virtually 100% connectivity coverage with a single chip. The EV8600 also offers a LoRa fallback mode in the event of a complete network outage caused by a natural disaster or other unforeseen events.


“The integration of Semtech LoRa technology in the EV8600 enables critical access for network operators and provides further reliability in network operations. It helps eliminate the ‘1 percent Problem’ in AMI networks, where the cost of reaching the 1 percent hard-to-reach nodes can account for as much as 50% of the entire AMI network operational cost,” said Reza Mirkhani, Vice President of Smart Grid Products for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Product Group. “We already see AMI networks migrating to PLC+RF Dual PHY architectures to achieve as close to 100% coverage as possible. The addition of LoRa to EV8600 enables each end node to become a LoRa gateway, servicing LoRa-based devices and back hauling their data over the PLC network. Also, the LoRaWAN network protocol allows for seamless interoperability among smart things across the network.”


The device performs all bridging/routing algorithms between the two internal modems and has embedded dual image secure flash memory, alongside an applications processor. The power line modem features; integrated AFE; multi-standard coverage, G3-PLC, PRIME, P1901.2 and S-FSK; programmable frequency range from 9 kHz-490 kHz; and multi-band according to CENELEC, FCC, ARIB. The RF modem is a LoRa Modem, WMBUS, 802.15.4g; 168 dB maximum link budget; +20 dBm