Newly certified smart grid chipset and operator-approved devices for connecting to cellular IoT services

STMicroelectronics showcased advancements in multi-utility and smart infrastructure digitalization for sustainability during Enlit Europe, including its newly certified smart grid chipset and operator-approved devices for connecting to cellular IoT services.

 ST’s smart-grid chipset is claimed to be the industry-first solution that achieved certification according to the widely recognized PRIME 1.4 Hybrid specification that standardizes robust and flexible communication using both wired and wireless connections in a seamless way to achieve best network coverage and modularity. Certification facilitates deployment of smart meters and enables PRIME to support new applications in smart-home and smart-city segments by ensuring interoperability and compatibility between devices and infrastructures. The chipset comprises the Company’s ST8500 powerline communication (PLC) SoC, the STLD1 line driver and  the S2-LP ultra-low-power radio transceiver to ensure robust and flexible communication leveraging hybrid powerline and wireless connectivity. The S2-LP radio enables long-range communication in the sub-1GHz frequency bands, operating in both the license-free ISM and SRD frequency bands. The ST8500 SoC’s programmability allows for a software-defined implementation, capable of supporting the widest range of powerline and hybrid RF protocol stacks across global frequency bands like CENELEC and FCC.

 The ST8500 SoC platform is used in smart metering, smart industrial, and infrastructure applications. Furthermore, ST’s hardware and firmware solution has been chosen to power the official PRIME Hybrid certification-testing tool released by the TECNALIA independent certification laboratory.

 To facilitate development of smart meters and other systems designed to connect through this chipset, ST has made available a new evaluation multi-standard Hybrid PLC & RF kit, the EVLKST8500GH-2. The kit contains an ST8500 PLC module, S2-LP radio expansion board, STM32 Nucleo microcontroller (MCU) board, and baseboard that performs as a carrier and provides additional functionality. The kit is compatible with other X-NUCLEO application expansion boards and comes with STSW-ST8500GH-2 software framework and documentation for developers to get started on their projects quickly and easily.

 The EVLKST8500GH-2 evaluation kit is available now.

Another solution demonstrated at Enlit Europe was ST’s ST87M01 NB-IoT industrial module series, compliant with 3GPP Release 15, for connection to massively deployed cellular IoT network infrastructures, fully based on ST’s embedded chipset.

ST recently announced the successful conclusion of the module testing for connection to the Vodafone Cellular IoT network active throughout Europe.

The first two variants of the ST87M01 module series are now available in volume production: the ST87M01-1000 NB-IoT module and the ST87M01-1100 that additionally contains a GNSS receiver to provide location-aware connectivity for mobile applications such as asset trackers and other location-aware equipment. The GNSS receiver operates during standard NB-IoT sleep time slots for energy efficiency and signal integrity. The modules also integrate an optimized ST RF-FE plus an optional ST4SIM embedded SIM (eSIM) and integrated secure element (eSE) to meet industry security standards including the GSMA eSA (Security Assurance) certification.

By commencing volume production of the ST87M01 series, ST says that it is letting customers prepare for large-scale deployments of IoT devices that connect directly to their chosen cellular network, in addition to GNSS support, that also enables high-accuracy localization applications.

ST believes that the performing connectivity and ultra-low power consumption characteristics, along with industrial-grade operation and product-longevity assurance, make the ST87M01 series a good choice for a huge variety of IoT applications: ranging from smart grid, energy smart metering, smart city, factory automation, industrial IoT and asset tracking to any smart monitoring applications.

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