Smart Grid

March 01, 2013

Silicon Labs Intros New Wireless Transceiver in China's Smart Metering Market

To tap China's rapidly growing smart metering market, Silicon Labs has rolled out a high-performance, ultra-low-power wireless transceiver called Si4438 EZRadioPRO IC.

According to the company, the new Si4438 transceiver is currently the most energy-efficient sub-GHz wireless solution available for China's smart metering market. This new wireless transceiver offers maximized wireless range and battery life, and reduces the cost of materials (BOM) by 30 percent for smart meters.

It is particularly designed for the 425-525 MHz ISM band, offering the best sub-GHz wireless solution for in-home energy management systems, and other smart grid infrastructure applications such as long-range back-haul communications to utilities.

"Smart metering and other smart grid applications require highly sophisticated and yet cost-effective and easy-to-deploy wireless technology," said Diwakar Vishakhadatta, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs' Embedded Systems business. "China's fast-growing smart metering market will benefit from wireless connectivity solutions that deliver exceptional performance and ultra-low sleep current at minimal BOM cost. Silicon Labs' new Si4438 IC is the ideal sub-GHz transceiver to meet these application challenges for China's smart grid."

Posing a size of 4 mm x 4 mm, Si4438 IC is said to be the smallest in its class, and its sleep/standby current (with register retention) is 40 times lower than competing transceivers in the China market.

This receiver is also compatible with Silicon Labs' Si446x EZRadioPRO transceivers, which can be used in worldwide sub-GHz ISM frequency bands for smart meter/smart grid products designed for global deployment, said company officials.

The new Si4438 comes with an efficient on-chip power amplifier (PA), enabling an extended range and robust communication links for smart metering by using best-in-class specifications in transmit output power (+20 dBm (News - Alert)), sensitivity (-124 dBm), link budget (144 dB) and adjacent channel rejection (58 dB).

It also has a built-in antenna as a backup to support frequency hopping and enhance wireless performance.

The company is currently offering the Si4438 EZRadioPRO transceiver at $2.03 in 10,000-unit quantities, and samples are available now.

Edited by Braden Becker