How Signal-Chain ICs Form Foundation for Smart-Grid Equipment

How Signal-Chain ICs Form Foundation for Smart-Grid Equipment

One of the top smart-grid equipment suppliers in China, Beijing Sifang Automation develops solutions for power system automation, relay protection, power system security and stability control, HVDC transmission control, dispatching automation, distribution automation, power simulation, and rail transportation for electric power system and related industries, including petrochemical, coal, and metallurgy.

The company's power-grid protection products have circuits with low, medium, and high voltages. Since the equipment is expected to operate continuously for up to 15 years (with some technology upgrades), the equipment requires high-quality semiconductors with long lifecycles. Performance and cost of the semiconductors are also important.

Sifang has been working with Maxim for more than 15 years. Inside its power-grid protection solutions is an array of Maxim signal-chain products:

  • MAX125 high-speed, multichannel, 14-bit data acquisition system with simultaneous track/holds. The system features a simultaneous-sampling analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and a high-speed parallel digital signal processing (DSP) interface.
  • MAX16006 low-voltage, quad-/hex-/octal-voltage microprocessor supervisor for complex multivoltage systems. This device has a reset output that asserts when any of the voltages that are monitored fall below their respective thresholds or when the manual reset input is asserted.
  • MAX6725 dual/triple ultra-low-voltage SOT23 microprocessor supervisory circuit for monitoring two- or three-system power-supply voltages. Compared to using separate ICs or discrete components, this device improves system reliability while reducing size.
  • MAX13487E +5V, half-duplex RS-485/RS-422-compatible transceiver. This transceiver features reduced slew-rate drivers that minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) and reduce reflections caused by improperly terminated cables, allowing error-free transmission up to 500kbps.
  • MAX14841E low-voltage, high-speed, half-duplex RS-485 transceiver. This transceiver is optimized to deliver high speeds over extended cable runs while maximizing noise tolerance. Its high electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection helps increase equipment uptime.
  • DS1338Z I2C real-time clock with 56-Byte NV SRAM. Low-power operation extends battery backup runtime, and a surface-mount package with integrated crystal saves board space while simplifying the design.

Said Mr. Chen Qiurong, senior manager of Hardware R&D at the company: "We benefit from the quality of the signal-chain products as well as Maxim's reliability as a supplier."

Learn more about the company and its evaluation of Maxim signal-chain ICs by reading the Beijing Sifang Automation customer testimonial.

Beijing Sifang Automation is one of China's top smart-grid equipment suppliers.