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Date: 03-03-13

Altera launches FPGA reference design for bi-directional power grid automation

Altera and Flexibilis Oy have jointly developed High-availability Seamless Redundancy (HSR) and Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) reference design for smart grid application. The IEC 62439-3-compliant reference design includes Flexibilis Redundant Switch (FRS) intellectual property (IP) implemented on an Altera's low-power, low-cost Cyclone FPGA or Cyclone V SoC.

“A key trend today in developing a smarter power grid is bidirectional communication and real-time control of the equipment in the grid’s transmission and distribution substations,” said Jason Chiang, senior strategic marketing manager in Altera’s Industrial Business Unit. “Our FPGA-based HSR/PRP reference design enables equipment manufactures to build flexibility, performance, reliability and product longevity into their systems while lowering system costs and future proofing designs.”

The Flexibilis HSR/PRP IP included in the reference design is a triple-speed 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Layer 2 switch that is scalable from 3 to 8 ports and is compliant with the IEC 62439-3 standard. The IP is optimized for Cyclone V SoC, which feature an integrated dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor subsystem. For timing synchronization, the HSR/PRP solution supports IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) Version 2.

“The IEC 62439-3 standard is rapidly evolving, making the flexibility of an FPGA an ideal platform to base our FSR IP on,” said Heikki Ala-Juusela, chairman of the board at Flexibilis. “Altera’s highly integrated FPGAs and SoCs allow users to reduce their total cost of ownership while at the same time leverage the device’s performance to handle Gigabit Ethernet traffic. This HSR/PRP solution ensures designers can future-proof their substation automation systems by ensuring communication with future generations of intelligent electronics devices.”

Altera says this solution requires no license negotiation, no up-front licensing costs and no per-unit royalty reporting.

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