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Freescale demonstrates Home Energy Gateway reference platform to support the smart grid initiative

Reference platform based on Freescale’s i.MX ARM processor addresses a growing smart energy market

VIENNA – Sept. 22, 2010 – Freescale Semiconductor demonstrated a Home Energy Gateway (HEG) reference platform at the Metering Europe conference. The HEG reference platform, which will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010, will enable fast development and time to market for a variety of value-added services around the deployment of the smart grid in countries around the world.

The HEG platform, developed by Freescale along with an ecosystem of partners, is targeted to original equipment manufacturers and utilities to start developing services in support of the smart grid. It includes features to support services such as collecting power consumption data from various sources, controlling activation and deactivation of Home Area Network (HAN) appliances, generating dashboards to provide feedback about power usage, providing control menus to control appliances and supporting a ubiquitous link to the WAN for remote control/readout.

“We believe that Freescale’s Home Energy Gateway platform provides a head start on designing services for smart grid deployments planned around the world,” said Bruno Baylac, director of Freescale’s Industrial and Multi-market segment marketing. “We have optimized the platform with cost and time to market in mind for development of home energy and smart In-home displays, enabling the vision of a smarter and greener home.”

Government stimulus plans for smart grid deployment and consumers’ needs to optimize home energy consumption are contributing factors to growth of the HAN market. In addition, the maturity and standardization of dedicated technologies like ZigBee® and homeowners’ increasing familiarity with in-home networks like WiFi, are speeding up acceptance of HAN services. According to IMS Research, more than one hundred million smart meters with HAN connectivity are forecast to be installed during the 2010-2014 period.

Service providers, utility companies and telecom operators see an opportunity to offer value-add services to home owners, enabling them to participate by managing their own energy usage. With the capability to do remote metering, service providers and utility companies can perform demand response and dynamic load management through time of usage variable pricing, as well as offer additional services to consumers in the future.

“Adeneo Embedded is proud to collaborate with Freescale on the i.MX based Home Energy Gateway reference platform,” said Yannick Chammings, CEO of Adeneo Embedded. “Our technical expertise on Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Linux complements perfectly the HEG reference platform of Freescale to allow device makers building faster and more cost effectively advanced energy management solutions. Our engagement as the primary partner of Freescale for delivering the HEG reference platform as well as supporting customers for any hardware adaptation, OS integration or software developments will ensure success and reliability for any device development.”

The HEG platform is powered by one of Freescale’s ARM9™-based i.MX processors which will launch soon and runs on a Linux® or the Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 pre-release operating system, which provides powerful tools and a streamlined development environment to fuel the proliferation of connected, immersive and intelligent in-home devices. The HEG reference platform integrates a variety of connectivity options to meet the different regional standards and preferred communication protocols associated with smart grid deployments planned around the world.
 
About the Home Energy Gateway
Freescale’s Home Energy Gateway reference platform features:

  1. A powerful and low-power main processing unit, running either the Windows Embedded Compact 7 or Linux operating systems and based around Freescale’s latest ARM9  i.MX application processor with rich peripheral integration and embedded power management

  2. Seamless, plug and play connectivity interfaces to meter(s) within the HAN - low power, low data speed, state of the art technologies to empower customers who want to monitor and manage their energy use
    • ZigBee Smart Energy 1.0 (based on Freescale’s ZigBee certified MC13224V)
    • Sub-GHz radio (based on Freescale’s 9S08QE32 8bit MCU)

  3. Seamless, plug and play connectivity interfaces to the home automation system within the HAN - low power, low data speed, state of the art technology to simplify customer's everyday control of home appliances
    • ZigBee Home Automation (based on Freescale’s ZigBee certified MC13224V)
    • Sub-GHz radio (based on Freescale’s 9S08QE32 8bit MCU)

  4. OSGi / ProSyst mBS Smart Home option providing a multi-services and multi-applications execution environment with sophisticated remote management capabilities, such as software and firmware lifecycle management, provisioning, remote configuration and remote monitoring.

  5. Broadband connectivity interfaces to the Internet, for secure, end-to-end HAN control and monitoring, either online or mobile via WiFi or Ethernet

  6. Fieldbus connectivity interfaces to microgrid generation units
    • RS-232
    • RS-485

  7. User interface connectivity options to raise consumer energy awareness and simplify household management through engaging and intuitive HMIs

  8. Expansion ports to allow for upcoming requirements, including
    • powerline modems
    • 3G or GPRS data modems
    • U-SNAP extension cards

Ecosystem of partners
Freescale has an ecosystem of third party partners, including Adeneo Embedded, AllGo, MicroDoc, Microsoft, ProSyst®, and QNX®, who offer Linux, Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 and Neutrino BSPs, embedded Java™ runtime environments, application frameworks, demo applications, and user interface frameworks

Availability
Freescale’s Home Energy Gateway reference platform will be available in Q4 2010 from systems integrator partner Adeneo Embedded who will provide hardware manufacturing and BSP customization and support.

About Freescale
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world. www.freescale.com.      

Supporting quotes from Freescale ecosystem members follow:
MicroDoc
“Using Java and OSGi on the Home Energy Gateway will help customers to create a reliable and effective system environment that can be used for remote management , deployment and provisioning of applications on the gateway” said Hendrik Höfer, chief technology officer at MicroDoc. “The i.MX provides more than enough computing power to run typical OSGi applications and services.”

Microsoft
“Microsoft is committed to helping device manufacturers, service providers and consumers prepare for the increasing sophistication and automation of the grid,” said Lorraine Bardeen, group marketing manager for the Windows Embedded Business EMEA at Microsoft Corp. “Windows Embedded Compact 7 coupled with Freescale’s HEG reference platform will drive faster development of  devices with rich, interactive user experiences to enhance efficiency, while also supporting the addition of advanced services from utility companies, telecom operators and other service providers that reduce consumption.”

ProSyst
“ProSyst is very pleased to be selected as the OSGi partner by Freescale for the i.MX based Home Energy Gateway reference platform,” said Daniel Schellhoss, executive vice president of ProSyst. “Our technical expertise on Java and OSGi complements perfectly the HEG reference platform of Freescale to allow device makers building faster and more cost effectively advanced energy management solutions. ProSyst mBS Smart Home OSGi provides a multi-services and multi-apps execution environment which is very robust and resource efficient. Moreover, ProSyst OSGi adds sophisticated remote management capabilities to HEG: Software and firmware lifecycle management, provisioning, remote configuration and remote monitoring. These remote instruments given, ProSyst OSGi reduces the operating cost of large device deployments significantly.”

QNX
“The Freescale Home Energy Gateway reference platform will provide customers with the ability to realize the vision of a greener world,” said Romain Saha, business development manager at QNX Software Systems. “The work we have done with Freescale around smart residential control systems extends this vision right into the home.” For more information on QNX solutions, go to http://www.qnx.com/products/reference-design/freescale-reference-design.html.

Media Contacts:

Americas
Andy North
Freescale Semiconductor
(512) 996-4418 office
andy.north@freescale.com

Asia Pacific
Gloria Shiu
Freescale Semiconductor
(85-22) 666-8237
gloria.shiu@freescale.com

Europe, Middle East and Africa
Laurent Massicot
Freescale Semiconductor
(33-16) 935-7712
laurent.massicot@freescale.com

India
Anjali Srivastava
Freescale Semiconductor
(91-120) 395-0000
anjali.srivastava@freescale.com

Japan
Masako Tanikawa
Freescale Semiconductor
(81-3) 5437-9128
Masako.tanikawa@freescale.com

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