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Jumat, 29 Juni 2012

Business Models for Open Hardware

Business Models for Open Hardware
Few months ago, Platoniq commissioned me a report about business models for Open Hardware, DIY Craft and Fab Labs, for their crowdfunding project Goteo.

More information please visit: http://www.innovativeelectronics.com 

Selasa, 26 Juni 2012

WIZnet Serial to Ethernet Gateway with PIC Microcontroller

He has utilize the BPS-5-3 breadboard power stick, LC04A Logic Level Shifter and WIZnet Serial to Ethernet Gateway, to show the basic interface between WIZnet gateway, Graphic LCD, PIC microcontroller and the setup.

Rabu, 20 Juni 2012

4 alternatives to Arduino – Digital Arts Online

Digital Arts Online4 alternatives to ArduinoDigital Arts OnlineCreative hacking is one of 2012′s top design trends, but Arduino isn’t the only game in town – here are four rivals.

Senin, 18 Juni 2012

Top 10 Internet of Things Developments of 2010

Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for when everyday ordinary objects are connected to the Internet via microchips. The technologies include sensors, RFID and smartphone standards like NFC.

Jumat, 15 Juni 2012

Arduino Control via a Web Service with Teleduino

See on Scoop.it  Open Hardware News
Convert your Arduino into a sofisticated web control platform using Teleduino.
Teleduino is both a product and a service. Once the Teleduino sketch h…

Senin, 11 Juni 2012

Basic Arduino Training [Surabaya, 2 Juni 2012]



Pada tanggal 2 Juni 2012 di kota Surabaya telah diadakan Basic Ardunio Traning yang dihadiri oleh 12 Peserta. Pelatihan ini sepenuhnya diprakarsai oleh Digi-Ware dan didukung oleh Divisi Pelatihan Innovative Electronics. Pada pelatihan ini diajarkan secara singkat tentang teknik-teknik pemrograman Arduino™ dan pengenalan modul-modul Ardunio itu sendiri. Adapun jenis modul Ardunio™ yang digunakan pada proses pelatihan ini adalah DT-AVR Inoduino yang merupakan modul Aduino™ compatible dari Innovarive Electronics.


Pada pelatihan ini juga tidak menutup kemungkinan bagi para peserta untuk menggunakan modul Official Ardunio™ ataupun Ardunio™ Compatible yang lain. Hal ini dikarenakan dasar dari DT-AVR Inoduino adalah Ardunio™ Compatible, sehingga teknik-teknik pemrograman dan wiring hardware sesuai dengan modul Ardunio™ yang lain.


Sabtu, 09 Juni 2012

DT-AVR Inoduino : Varian produk Arduino compatible terbaru dari Innovative Electronics

Seolah tak mau ketinggalan dengan maraknya penggunaan modul Arduino di Indonesia pada khususnya dan di dunia pada umumnya, Innovative Electronics mengerluarkan varian produk terbaru, yaitu DT-AVR Inoduinio. Jika melihat dari penamaan modul tersebut sudah dapat disimpulkan bahwa produk ini memiliki tingkat kompabilitas dengan berbagai macam modul-modul resmi dari Arduino™ atupun dengan berbagaimacam shield yang dikembangkan secara resmi oleh Ardunino™ ataupun rekanan third-party dari Arduino™.

DT-AVR Inoduino sendiri telah dipersenjatai dengan mikrokontroler AVR AT90USB1286 yang memiliki kapasitas memory flash sebesar 128 KB dengan tambahan SRAM sebesar 8 KB dan EEPROM sebesar 4 KB yang akan membuat para pengguna akan semakin leluasa dalam merancang dan membuat sistem yang komplek.

Sesuai dengan modul Ardunio™ atau Arduino compatible yang lain, modul ini juga telah dilengkapi dengan program bootloader internal yang berguna untuk mengisikan kode program ke dalam mikrokontroler melalui port USB tanpa mengguna divais programmer eksternal. Selain itu, modul ini juga telah dilengkapi dengan konektor ICSP / ISP Port 6 pin yang berguna bagi para pengguna tingkat lanjut yang tidak memerlukan program bootloader sehingga penggunaan kapasitas memory dapat lebih dimaksimalkan.

Perihal program compiler yang digunakan, produk ini juga menyediakan program compiler Arduino IDE yang telah dimodifikasi agar dapat melakukan kompilasi, pengisian kode program dan pengisian program bootloader dengan sangat mudah.


Selain kompatibel dengan berbagai macam shield Arduino™, Innovative Electronics juga telah menyediakan shield khusus, yaitu  DT-Proto Header Shield yang memungkinkan pin layout dari modul Inoduino ataupun modul Arduino™ yang lain dapat dengan mudah terhubung ke modul-modul produksi Inovative Electronics.
 
Budayakan untuk membaca petunjuk penggunaan sebelum menggunakan.

Jumat, 08 Juni 2012

PC industry hopes Windows 8 will take on Apple

--Computer makers showcase new Windows 8 devices at Computex show in Taiwan
--Some analysts remain skeptical about how much Windows 8 can help PC players compete with Apple
TAIPEI--Apple Inc. AAPL +0.05% , maker of the iconic iPad, was absent -- as usual -- from the Computex computer show this week, but despite that the company's influence was everywhere.
Showcasing this year at the show, one of the industry biggest annual trade gatherings, were tablets and personal computers powered by Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT -0.41% next-generation Windows 8 operating system. Windows 8 is due for release later this year and considered in many ways the PC industry's response to Apple, which upended the traditional market with its mold-breaking tablet iPad and software iOS.
While the Windows 8 software, optimized for touch-screen use, generated a fair amount of buzz, many analysts remain skeptical that the new operating system will help Microsoft and PC makers get ahead in rapidly evolving markets such as the one for tablets.
"In the long term, the Microsoft camp has potential to grow, but in the short term, there is still so much momentum around Apple from consumers," said IDC analyst Bryan Ma.
Over the past few years Apple's smartphones and tablets have changed the way people communicate, obtain information, work and play. Consumer dollars that could have been spent on upgrading PCs went instead on new, ever-smarter mobile gadgets. In the booming market of mobile computing, Apple has so far remained the trend-setter.
Apart from the iPad, Apple has laid down a new challenge to its rivals with MacBook Air, a line of ultra-thin, ultra lightweight laptop computers that use flash memory chips instead of hard drives enabling them to power up almost instantly.
Windows 8, PC makers hope, will be a game changer able to take on Apple in the market for tablets and ultra-thin laptops, and will spur consumers to buy new PCs.
"We are delivering a full line of Windows 8-based products," said J.T. Wang, chief executive of Taiwanese PC maker Acer Inc. . "We've never been more supportive of Microsoft," he said.
Hundreds of visitors at Computex gathered round the booths of Acer and of Asustek Computer Inc. , another Taiwanese PC maker, to try out the Windows 8 touch-screen interface with colorful tiles on tablets and laptops for the first time. The exhibited devices were running a preview version of Windows 8, and the companies plan to release the new products in the fourth quarter.
With improved interface, touch functions and a range of applications, "it appears Windows 8 brings the user experience on par with (Apple's) iOS ecosystems," said Barclays Capital analyst Kirk Yang in a report after attending Computex.
Rory Read, chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD -4.32% , a maker of computer processor chips, said in an interview that Windows 8 will help Windows-based tablets become more appealing to consumers. He expects Windows-based tablets, which now only account for 2% to 3% of the global market, to grab a 20% share in five years.
Still, some analysts said it remained unclear whether Windows 8 could pose an immediate threat to Apple.
Some of the new Windows 8 devices offer interesting designs, said IDC's Mr. Ma, but a key question is whether there will be enough good applications or "apps" able to run on them to make them attractive.
The iPad accounted for 62% of the world's tablet market last year, with the rest held mostly by tablets that run on Google Inc.'s GOOG -0.40% Android operating system, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. IHS expects worldwide tablet sales to surge 85% this year to 126.6 million units.
The key to the iPad's success has been "its offering of a complete hardware-plus-content ecosystem," said Rhoda Alexander, director for monitors and tablets research at IHS. "Such an ecosystem took Apple years to put together, starting with the iPod plus iTunes Music Store more than nine years ago, and it's proving to be a challenge for the company's competitors to replicate it."
As part of the PC industry's efforts to compete with MacBook Air, PC processor chip maker Intel Corp. INTC -0.50% has been promoting a new breed of thin, lightweight laptops it calls Ultrabooks while providing the processors that power them. Still, despite Intel's commitment, the sales of Ultrabooks have so far been sluggish.
But Intel and PC makers like Acer and Asustek expect that new Windows 8-based Ultrabooks with touch-enabled displays will help attract new customers. To make more laptop screens touch-capable, Intel this week said that it will help fund four Taiwanese touch-screen makers' investment into additional production lines.
Windows 8 will help bring Ultrabooks closer to MacBook Air, said Barclays' Mr. Yang. Still, for Windows-based Ultrabooks to become attractive, their prices need to come down, he added.
Ultrabooks typically cost a few hundred dollars more than conventional laptops. Acer said that its new Windows 8 Ultrabooks could be above or below US$1,000, depending on specifications and features.

Cross-Clock Domain Signal Processing MCU based on FPGA

The signal processing in asynchronous domain is a key technology in a FPGA design, and it is the main reason why many engineers are discouraged upon FPGA. Is it really so mysterious?

First of all, this project is an application based on SCM (Single Chip Machine). Here let’s have a look at a read & write timing diagram of 11.0592MHz 51 SCM.
Our job now is to work as a slave machine of MCU and simulate an extend RAM for MCU. If MCU sends a write timing, FPGA should latch the data when it is more stable than data bus. If MCU sends a read timing, FPGA should put the data on the data bus before MCU establishing the data latch, and will be able to withdraw the data only after the holding time of data latch. Basically, this is all we need to do.

In fact, the time duration of MCU read and write is sufficient, because we use 50MHz crystal in our FPGA. Hence, a basic idea is that we need to synchronize the signal at MCU to the clock domain of FPGA, in order to achieve synchronized processing of asynchronous signals.

Verilog code
//----------------------------------------------------------------------
//----------------------------------------------------------------------
input clk;           //50MHz
input rst_n;      //reset signallow is effective

input mcu_cs_n;                //MCU chip select signallow is effective
input mcu_wr_n;               //MCU write signallow is effective
input[3:0] mcu_addr;       //MCU address bus
input[7:0] mcu_db;           //MCU data bus

reg[3:0] mcu_addr_r;      //mcu_addr register
reg[7:0] mcu_db_r; // mcu_db register

//////when mcu_cs_n and mcu_wr_n are pulled down together, pull down wr_state
wire  wr_state = mcu_cs_n || mcu_wr_n;   //write state bit

always @ (posedge clk or negedge rst_n)
         if(!rst_n) begin
                            mcu_addr_r <= 4’h0;
                            mcu_db_r <= 8’h00;
                  end
         else if(!wr_state) begin
                            mcu_addr_r <= mcu_addr;// mcu_addr register
                            mcu_db_r <= mcu_db;// mcu_db register
                   end

wire pos_wr;   //
reg wr1,wr2;   // MCU write state register
always @ (posedge clk or negedge rst_n)
         if(!rst_n) begin
                            wr1 <= 1'b1;    
                            wr2 <= 1'b1;
                   end
         else begin
                            wr1 <= wr_state;
                            wr2 <= wr1;
                   end

assign pos_wr = ~wr2 && wr1;       //

Kamis, 07 Juni 2012

High speed hardware Ethernet solution based on W5300

This article introduces a solution for data collection and remote control with WIZnet chip W5300.

In modern data collection field, more and more scene collection devices need to expand network functions to realize remote control and data transmission. Ethernet has been applied widely because of its advantages of low cost, easy integration, and large distance of transmission. In conventional Ethernet solutions, CPU often connects with a Physical layer interface chip, and all the communication protocol should be loaded in CPU. This solution needs complicated program and takes a long time to debug and test. Because the network protocols are usually very big, it is not so stable after coding into software. It is not suitable for fast development and stable running. Also, customers often have new requirements, then it is hard to update frequently with this software solution. Therefore, one solution is to make the processing of network protocol independent from system’s processor, letting application program and input/output be executed by different hardware to reach several aspects of requirement. It divides the processing of network protocol into a control part executed by a particular processor and a hardware circuit part. The advantages of this solution are short period of development and high flexibility. Also, it can increase the stability and reduce the payload of CPU effectively, and the modular design is easy for future upgrading.

The hardwire Ethernet protocol chip W5300 solves this problem perfectly. Also, it has integrated the highly matured TCP/IP protocol stack, Ethernet MAC layer, PHY layer etc. It also supports many protocols such as TCP, UDP, IPv4, ICMP, ARP, IGMP and PPPoE. These protocols have been verified in many fields. The chip supports 8 independent Socket channel. The internal 128K sending/receiving buffer can expedite the data exchange. The biggest effective communication speed can reach 70Mbps (in DMA mode). Using W5300 doesn’t need to concern about Ethernet control. You only need to do some simple Socket programming, just as simple as accessing an external memory.

W5300 supports 8bit/16bit data BUS. It reduces the workload greatly in hardware interface design and network programming. Also, it can realize a remote data communication system with reliable running. It can be used widely in various security detection, media and video transmission and remote information transmission. The picture below shows the system structure of W5300.

For example, we introduce the Ethernet technology into embedded system with DSP core. Then the DSP chip will have the function of network connection, and PC can do the data exchanging with DSP embedded module through NIC.

Here we give an embedded network control system which combines TMS320VC5509A and W5300. The application program is executed by DSP, and the network protocol processing and data transmission is implemented by W5300. When you design the system, you don’t need to concern about the detail of network protocol. To realize the connection with Internet, the only thing you need to do is to explain and execute the received command and data, and you don’t need the OS support. The system design is shown in the following picture.
This system sends a collection command through CPLD, and CPLD controls CMOS image sensor to write image data to FIFO. At the same time, DSP transfers the image to SDRAM through DMA to process the image. After processing, the system sends the result to PC or other devices through Ethernet.

Relying on the perfect TCP/IP processing function of W5300, DSP can connect to Internet without OS support. W5300 has many advantages such as simple, reliable and cheap, and it has a bright future. Of course, W5300 can also work perfectly with control unit like 51, AVR, PIC, and ARM, and offer you fast and reliable network connection function.



Rabu, 06 Juni 2012

Arduino Wiznet

Here is the first implementation I've made relating to the powerfull couple arduino + wiznet WIZ810MJ board here is what I get :




I bought a card from from ebay and made the solders by myself, i am not so good for that because it was my first time but anyway I did it finally !!!



Here is what I get after several hours of soldering....



Perfect, I can connect it to the arduino !!!
I did follow the progress from the actual reference site :
http://code.rancidbacon.com/LearningAboutArduinoWIZ810MJ

and after configuring the module I was able to ping (so great ..... !!!).

I did use a cross ethernet cable directly connected to the computer, My ethernet cable was free because i am conneted via wifi ...

I did configure a mini local network (http://www.commentcamarche.net/faq/sujet-2639-windows-xp-mise-en-place-d-un-reseau-prive-virtuel-vpn). sorry it's in french. WIFI connection is not compatible with ethernet local configuration !!!


Here is the code to be qble to enable the ping response (Arduino Code) :

*

Code to test wiznet WIZ810MJ module

See:


Current features:

* Read register/address values

* Write register/address values

* Configure networking to enable ping

* Terrible hacked-together code

License:

LGPL

(Although note spi_transfer comes from the Playground originally.)

*/

// Define SPI-related pins
#define PIN_DATA_OUT 11 // MOSI (Master Out / Slave In)
#define PIN_DATA_IN 12 // MISO (Master In / Slave Out)
#define PIN_SPI_CLOCK 13 // SCK (Serial Clock)
#define PIN_SLAVE_SELECT 10 // SS (Slave Select)

#define PIN_RESET 9 // WIZnet module /RESET

#define WIZNET_OPCODE_READ 0x0F
#define WIZNET_OPCODE_WRITE 0xF0

#define DUMMY_DATA 0xFF

void setup () {
Serial.begin(9600);
Serial.println("Setup enter...");

Serial.print("SPCR: "); Serial.println(SPCR, BIN);

// Configure SPI
// Configure I/O pins
pinMode(PIN_DATA_OUT, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PIN_DATA_IN, INPUT);
pinMode(PIN_SPI_CLOCK, OUTPUT);
pinMode(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, OUTPUT);

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave

// Configure SPI Control Register (SPCR) (All values initially 0)
// Bit Description
// 7 SPI Interrupt Enable -- disable (SPIE --> 0)
// 6 SPI Enable -- enable (SPE --> 1)
// 5 Data Order -- MSB 1st (DORD --> 0) (Slave specific)
// 4 Master/Slave Select -- master (MSTR --> 1)
// 3 Clock Polarity -- (CPOL --> 0) (Slave specific) ("Mode")
// 2 Clock Phase -- (CPHA --> 0) (Slave specific)
// 1 SPI Clock Rate Select 1 -- } (SPR1 --> 0)
// 0 SPI Clock Rate Select 0 -- } fOSC/4 (SPR0 --> 0) ("Fastest" but see SPI2X in SPSR)
SPCR = (1<
<

Serial.print("SPCR: "); Serial.println(SPCR, BIN);

// Clear previous data and status (TODO: Determine if necessary/better way.)
// (Based on Playground SPI example.)
byte dummy;
dummy = SPSR;
dummy = SPDR;
delay(10);

// Serial.println((1 <<>

// Serial.print("IODIR response: ");
// iodirVal = getRegister(deviceOpcodeRead, REG_IODIR);
// Serial.println(iodirVal, BIN);

// setRegister(deviceOpcodeWrite, REG_IODIR, newVal);

Serial.println("Triggering reset...");
pinMode(PIN_RESET, OUTPUT);

digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, HIGH); // no reset
delay(10); // Pretty arbitrary length
digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, LOW); // reset
delay(10);
digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, HIGH); // no reset
delay(10);
Serial.println("Reset triggered...");

// Attempt read
Serial.println("Read attempt...");

// digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, LOW); // Enable slave

/*
byte data;

data = spi_transfer(0x0F); // read
Serial.print("Response: "); Serial.println(data, HEX);

data = spi_transfer(0x00); // address part1
Serial.print("Response: "); Serial.println(data, HEX);

data = spi_transfer(0x18); //address part2 //18 should return 0xD0 after reset.
Serial.print("Response: "); Serial.println(data, HEX);

data = spi_transfer(0xFF); // dummy
Serial.print("Response: "); Serial.println(data, HEX);

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave
*/

// RTR Retry Time-value Register
Serial.print("Read 0x0017: "); Serial.println(readAddressValue(0x00, 0x17), HEX);
Serial.print("Read 0x0018: "); Serial.println(readAddressValue(0x00, 0x18), HEX);


Serial.println("Read attempt end...");


Serial.println("Write attempt start...");

Serial.print("Initial read 0x0001: "); Serial.println(readAddressValue(0x00, 0x01), HEX);

writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x01, 0xC0);

Serial.print("Post-write read 0x0001: "); Serial.println(readAddressValue(0x00, 0x01), HEX);

Serial.println("Write attempt end...");


Serial.println("Configure device...");

// default gateway
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x01, 0xC0);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x02, 0xA8);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x03, 0x02);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x04, 0x65);

// subnet mask
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x05, 0xFF);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x06, 0xFF);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x07, 0xFF);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x08, 0x00);

// source hardware address (MAC?)
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x09, 0x00);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0A, 0xDE);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0B, 0xAD);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0C, 0xBE);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0D, 0xEF);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0E, 0x00);

// source ip address
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x0F, 0xC0);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x10, 0xA8);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x11, 0x02);
writeAddressValue(0x00, 0x12, 0x69);

Serial.println("End configure device...");


Serial.println("Setup exit...");

}

byte readAddressValue(byte addressHiByte, byte addressLowByte) {
// TODO: use a word for the address instead

byte data = 0x00;

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, LOW); // Enable slave

// TODO: Check response values? e.g. 0x00, 0x01, 0x02
spi_transfer(WIZNET_OPCODE_READ);
spi_transfer(addressHiByte);
spi_transfer(addressLowByte);

data = spi_transfer(DUMMY_DATA);

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave

return data;
}


void writeAddressValue(byte addressHiByte, byte addressLowByte, byte targetValue) {
// TODO: use a word for the address instead

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, LOW); // Enable slave

// TODO: Check response values? e.g. 0x00, 0x01, 0x02
spi_transfer(WIZNET_OPCODE_WRITE);
spi_transfer(addressHiByte);
spi_transfer(addressLowByte);

spi_transfer(targetValue);

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave
}


/*
byte getRegister(byte targetDeviceOpcode, byte registerAddress) {

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, LOW); // Enable slave
spi_transfer(targetDeviceOpcode);
spi_transfer(registerAddress); // The register we want to read

byte data; // Correct type?
data = spi_transfer(0xFF); // Transfer dummy byte to get response
digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave

return data;
}
*/

/*
void setRegister(byte targetDeviceOpcode, byte registerAddress, byte value) {
// TODO: Do Better?

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, LOW); // Enable slave
spi_transfer(targetDeviceOpcode);
spi_transfer(registerAddress); // The register we want to write
spi_transfer(value);

digitalWrite(PIN_SLAVE_SELECT, HIGH); // Disable slave
}
*/

// From Playground
char spi_transfer(volatile char data)
{
SPDR = data; // Start the transmission
while (!(SPSR & (1<

{
};
return SPDR; // return the received byte
}


void loop() {

}

Selasa, 05 Juni 2012

Intelligent housing—new experience of life

Have you heard of intelligent housing? Have experienced the convenience after all of your house appliances and meters connecting to the Internet? Nowadays, when decorating new houses, young peoples who love life and love to pursue freedom not only favor the northern Europe style in IKEA, but pay more attention to the intelligent housing environment.
In WIZnet, the smart meter solution based on WIZ-SM10 is a kind of solution for intelligent housing. Now, let’s have a look at the development of intelligent housing.

In late 1980s, because of the rapid development of communication and information technology, a commercial system came into being to monitor, control and manage the various kinds of communication and appliances devices through BUS technology. This was called Smart Home in USA, which is the prototype of intelligent housing.

Major subsidiary systems included in intelligent housing system are: housing wiring system, home network system, intelligent house (center) control management system, house lighting control system, house security system, background music system, home theatre and multi-media system. Among them, intelligent house (center) control management system, house lighting control system, house security system are necessary. housing wiring system, home network system, background music system, home theatre and multi-media system are optional.


Imagine, when you wake up in the morning, with the sunshine comes into your bedroom, the light on your night stand is slowly turning off. When you sit in front of the table and plan to enjoy your delicious breakfast, do you want a piece of beautiful music? Pick up your cellphone and it is very easy to make the stereo play your favorite music in the living room. When you are ready to work, before going out, set the door to ‘out’ mode on the touching screen next to the door. Then the room will automatically start the security system and imitate that the host is still at home.

However, in the identification of intelligent housing environment, it is required to install all the necessary systems and at least install one optional system, then it can be called an intelligent housing.

The development of Internet of Things is just connecting the things in our lives with Internet and let our lives be more intelligent. With people’s life pace becoming more rapid, intelligent housing can reduce the complexity of our housework. It saves time, so we can spend more time with our family and friends. Generally we will find that life can be this easy and comfortable.

Senin, 04 Juni 2012

What is Smart Grid and How to Implement Smart Metering?

Recently we often encounter “Smart Grid” on TV, Internet or newspaper. The Smart Grid is a global topic right now. Many people predict that the Smart Grid will be developed into a wide infrastructure that is more extensive than the Internet.  We already know the seriousness of the problems caused by environment pollution, energy exhaustion and global warming. We are experiencing the damages caused by natural disasters all over the world. Several countries have been looking for a solution to save the earth, and acknowledge that the “Energy” is the main cause of all problems. Currently, the poorly designed energy grid wastes fuel without fulfilling the energy demand. Someone suggests renewable energy or atomic energy to address the problem, but the efficient production and management of the electricity are the most important factors for solving the problems.

Electric power is produced for consumption. We are repeating the production and consumption cycle every day. Smart Grid is the technology how to manage this cycle.

There are several problems in the current electricity production system. The production efficiency is very low, because a lot of power are not used and wasted. Even though we produce more energy than we required, we can’t use the extra power if we don’t spend them on time. As we can’t estimate the actual demand in real-time, we must produce more. Therefore, we need to have more equipments, facilities and fuels for the production. Coal, petroleum and gas which are used for fuels are the main sources of global warming. 
If we produce electricity according to our needs, and use it effectively, we can reduce the excessive use of the fuel and the emission of CO2. In other words, we can stop the progress of environment pollution and global warming, and slow down the exhaustion of natural resource.
Smart Grid is a technology to effectively administrate the production and management of electricity. We can check the amount of energy supplied and consumed and the status of the electric meters in real time through the Smart Grid.
The interest in Smart Grid is greatly increasing all over the world. US has been establishing the infrastructure for Smart Grid in order to replace the old electric power system and reinforce the energy security since 2001, and this project is expected to be finished by 2030. EPRI, EDF, Hitachi, GE and some major US electric companies are participating in this business.
EU government has been leading the project “Europe Smart Grid Technology Platform” since 2006 and this project will be finished by 2020. Alternative energy and electric power trading between EU countries are main issues of this project. Germany, Italy, England and Spain are actively supporting this project and ABB, Siemens and Shell are participating in this business.  Japan is developing the national project “III (Intelligent, Interactive, Integrate) power system. They are developing new electric power network to be used in the renewable energy system.
The main factor of Smart Grid technology is the convergence of electric power network and IT technology for the real time data communication. The usage of power will be more efficient in the Smart Grid than previous generation grid. Users can use the electric power when its fee is low. For example, you can operate the washing machine at the midnight when others do not use power much, and thus the cost is lower than day time. By monitoring the use of the electricity in real time, the power suppliers can flexibly control electricity production by reducing the surplus and saving the reusable energy. Smart Grid will play a major role in managing all electricity used from home appliances to industrial equipments.

There are many development considerations in Smart Grid. Among them, AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) is being rapidly applied to the market. This system is dedicated to providing users with real time pricing. Users can save up on their electric bill by using the real time pricing system.
Smart meter is the main device for AMI. Smart meter device is being actively developed and commercialized in each country, and its market size is too big to predict. Smart meter is located at the bottom layer of the Smart Grid, and is installed at the client’s site such as home, school, office and factory. According to US government, the market size in USA only is estimated to be worth approximately 10 trillion US dollar.
Smart Grid is two-way communication system for activating the renewable energy system (wind, solar, earth heat and tidal power), motivating users to save energy and improving the efficiency of electric power management. Internet can be one of most important communication tool.
Internet is a necessity in our daily life, but it can also cause serious problems. We already have experienced a lot of side effect from the Internet. The cyber terrorism or hacking can paralyze our information network and also directly take effect on our electric power system.  We will encounter the state of national emergency - traffic congestion, medical incidents, destruction of financing system, increase of crime and etc. The economical damages caused by electricity cutoff will be enormous.
In order to overcome the existing problems on the Internet, we should consider on how to design smart metering device.
The first consideration is security. The Smart Grid is connected to the Internet. Through this connection, Internet hacking or Virus can attack the memory (RAM) of the metering devices. If one device is damaged by an attack, it will be rapidly spread to the whole electric network.
When we design the metering device, we must apply the security technology such as PKI (Public key Interchange) or NAC (Network Access control) and a web based security protocol such as HTTPS.
In addition to this software solution such as PKI, NAC and HTTPs, we also should consider the hardware based solution. High performing computers are also weak against virus or hacking such as DDoS attack. If we can add a hardware block between main CPU and network interface, we can have a perfect security system.
We are expecting a tremendous demand for smart meter devices, because they are installed every home, office, school, factory and etc. Smart Grid is not limited to individual businesses but the network can be extended to national policy and public sector of businesses. Therefore, smart meter devices should be supplied at a low cost to accommodate everybody.
The smart meter system should be optimized, simplified and practical for the production and supplied at a low cost. Internet and security should also be implemented. However, we can’t use a OS (Operating System). In order to operate an OS, the system needs a high performing CPU and a big memory. We can’t make a cost-effective metering device. We need to optimize our platform to support all required functions with a limited MCU and memory resource.
We also have to maximize the system reliability and stability. Software depended system is weak for various problems including security risks. If all functions are implemented by hardware, this system will be the most reliable, but it’s not possible to have such a system.
If the Internet related part is processed and managed by the separate hardware, CPU will not be affected by an attack. Moreover, the CPU has more resources to use since the network processing is offloaded to the dedicated hardware.
In order to implement the Internet connectivity, full technical knowledge and experience of the Internet are required, because there a lot of variables and exceptions according to application environment. Even with any good software based solutions, it takes long time to optimize and test the codes. Therefore, if we can use a market-proven dedicated Internet chipset, we can overcome engineers’ difficulties, and build a reliable and stable system.
The current smart metering platform is very heavy as like mini PC. It is over-specification and expensive. With this platform, we can never prepare for the Smart Grid market. To optimize the system for Smart Grid, we have to adopt the low-cost CPU (16 or 32 bit based) and Internet chip.
Internet chip will enable you to improve the system security by filtering the packets and blocking any distorted or abnormal packets. If software based security protocols (PKI, NAC, HTTPS) are added, the system will be perfect to block any Internet attack.
It is also possible to implement all required functions in the firmware or light-weight embedded OS without using heavy OS. You can have the best optimized hardware platform by reducing the cost.
By processing all Internet functions through hardware logic, Internet chip will enable you to implement Internet connectivity without any specific technical knowledge, and provide more stable and reliable system. 
Internet chip does not mean a simple controller such as MAC or PHY. When this chip is designed to process all TCP/IP protocols and Internet functions, we have advantages over other systems.
WIZnet is a chip vendor who have been developing and supplying the most reliable Internet chip solution for more than 10 years. We can provide the Internet solution to anybody who is preparing for the Smart Grid and Metering market. WIZnet chip has been applied to Google power meter device in US and Europe, but the market is not yet matured. We are developing more competitive chip and system platform targeting the Smart Grid and Metering.
WIZnet is also focusing on home appliances. In the Smart Grid era, home appliances should be also smart to process the data transferred through the Internet. Smart Grid devices are not far away from reality. Anyone can develop the device, and WIZnet will support the development by providing a total solution for smart metering.



Jace Sohn
WIZnet CMO