One might say why do we need to talk over the power lines in a home, office, or other structure. Whether you think you don’t or do have a need to do so, Renesas has a way to do it. The company has introduced a programmable logic controller (PLC) and microcontroller (MCU) combo that enables both data and voice communications over existing power networks. One of the goals of the Renesas solution is to reduce the amount of wiring required in buildings, possibly eliminating public address systems and enhancing some security systems.
The package consists of an R9A06G037 PLC software modem that manages the PLC communications and an RX651 MCU that controls the audio codec processing. For a new installation using a wide array of sensors plus voice communication, wiring costs can be reduced by approximately 60% and installation/maintenance costs can be reduced up to 40%. Also, manufacturers can enhance security systems by adding voice capabilities to an existing installation at low cost.
Past attempts to use power lines for voice communication have led to poor audio quality due to fluctuations in delay time. The PLC solution uses priority control during audio transmission to virtually eliminate delay fluctuations, even in cases where signal control communication and voice communication operate over the same power lines.
Other features include support for long-distance transfers over wiring lengths exceeding 1 km without relays and a software stack that shortens system development time. The solution will be available from October 2017. For more information, contact Renesas Electronics America.