STMicroelectronics (ST) has recently extended the certification of its ST8500 G3-PLC (Power-Line Communication) Hybrid communication chipset, now covering the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) band plan from 10kHz to 490kHz, in addition to the CENELEC-A 9kHz-95kHz European band.
The move enables higher data rates, enhances design flexibility, and eases end-product approval by specific national regulations.
The G3-PLC Hybrid profile enables smart, connected devices to select powerline or wireless communication autonomously, and change dynamically to ensure reliable connectivity and optimum performance.
ST ST8500 G3-PLC Hybrid chipset comprises the ST8500 protocol controller System-on-Chip (SoC), which supports RF mesh for reliable long-range wireless communication, the STLD1 PLC line driver, and the S2-LP low-power IEEE 802.15.4 RF transceiver.
In addition to smart electricity meters, the chipset delivers robust and reliable connectivity for gas and water smart meters, environmental monitors, lighting controllers, and remote sensors in contexts such as smart cities, smart infrastructure, smart buildings, and smart factories.
To accelerate the development of smart, connected nodes that leverage the G3-PLC Hybrid profile for dual PLC and RF connectivity, ST has created a support ecosystem that includes the EVLKST8500GH868 and EVLKST8500GH915 development kits that work respectively at 868MHz and 915MHz.
Each kit contains a development board to build one node that combines the ST8500 and S2-LP chipset with an STM32G070RB host microcontroller and allows custom functions to be added using Nucleo expansion boards.
The associated STSW-ST8500GH software framework includes ST’s G3-PLC Hybrid communication stack, Protocol Engine and Real-Time Engine modem firmware images, and a framework based on ST’s popular STM32CubeMX tool that helps developers quickly develop and integrate their application firmware.