SoC lowers cost level in ultrasonic water metering

SoC lowers cost level in ultrasonic water metering

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By eeNews Europe

The GP30 is a front-end solution integrating digital signal processing (based on a 32-bit µcontroller) and providing a legal-for-trade output signal over a UART, PWM or SPI interface. The connected standard MCU can focus on device management and handling of external interfaces such as radio communication. The task of data acquisition is independent from device management. The GP30 provides temperature sensor connectivity and processing functionality for heat meters like the GP22. In addition, the SoC now offers a 4-wire connection for temperature sensors which allows the deployment of the chip also in heat meters.

Ultrasonic water meters for flow metering operate typically at a sampling rate of 8 Hz. With this sampling rate plus all necessary calculations and mathematical corrections, a GP30 consumes as little as 7µA, translating into a battery lifetime of 20 years or more. The vendor claims that such a low value is not achievable by a standalone low-power standard MCU. The final chip will provide further power optimizations and further improvements through intelligent firmware. Another benefit is inherent to the measurement principle used in this device: Since ultrasonic measuring causes much lower wear than conventional mechanical measurement, such meters can be used over two calibration periods instead of just one, which halves the services efforts. In addition, mechanical counters wear out over time and measurement results get less accurate. This wear does not apply to the ultrasound measurement principle.

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