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Ultrasonic MCUs Make ‘Smart Water Meters’ More Accurate

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TI has unveiled new MCUs and reference designs to support the growing demand for more accurate water meters and remote meter reading to enable efficient water resource management, accurate measurement and timely billing.

The new series of MSP430 microcontrollers (MCUs) come with an integrated ultrasonic sensing analogue front end that enables smart water meters to deliver higher accuracy and lower power consumption. In addition, two new reference designs make it easier to design modules for adding automated meter reading (AMR) capabilities to existing mechanical water meters.

The new MSP430FR6047 MCUs let developers add more intelligence to flow meters by taking advantage of a complete waveform capture feature and analog-to-digital converter (ADC)-based signal processing. This technique, claims TI, enables more accurate measurement than competitive devices, with precision of 25 picoseconds or better, even at flow rates less than 1 liter per hour.

In addition, the integrated MSP430FR6047 devices reduce water meter system component count by 50 percent and power consumption by 25 percent, enabling a meter to operate without having to charge the battery for 10 or more years.

The new MCUs also integrate a low-energy accelerator module for advanced signal processing, 256 KB of ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM), a liquid crystal display (LCD) driver and a metering test interface.

The new ‘Low-Power Water Flow Measurement with Inductive Sensing Reference Design’ is small enough to allow designers to easily retrofit existing mechanical flow meters, enabling water utilities to add AMR capability while avoiding expensive replacement of deployed meters.

A second new reference design is the ‘Low-Power Wireless M-Bus Communications Module’  supporting wireless M-Bus deployments across multiple regions.

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Purchase samples of MSP430FR6047 MCUs are available from the TI store. The EVM430-FR6047 evaluation module can be requested online and software can be downloaded via the MSP430 Ultrasonic Sensing Design Center.

For more information, click here.

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