Silicon Labs launches isolated analogue-digital converter for AC mains monitoring

Isolated ADCs are essential for applications where the power drawn from the ac mains must be monitored. The most common solution for these applications today uses a current transformer coupled with discrete components and a data converter – this is a bulky approach that tends to drive up the size and complexity of power supplies. While standalone ADCs are available, they require external galvanic isolators to connect to the mains or other high-voltage systems.

The Si890x isolated ADCs have been engineered to meet the needs of the mains monitoring market. They provide a much smaller and thinner footprint solution than transformer solutions. Since the Si890x devices integrate the ADC and isolation function, they can transmit power measurements through an isolated serial port for processing by the system controller. The Si890x family features 2.5 and 5 kV isolation ratings that meet critical safety requirements for high-voltage systems such as IEC 60950-1, 61010-1 and 60601-1 standards and UL, CSA and VDE certifications. The family”s

5 kV rating enables the devices to be used in demanding industrial and medical applications and universal-powered systems with 120/220 Vac mains supplies. Offering up to 1,200 V working voltage with an isolation barrier lifetime of more than 60 years, these isolated ADCs will outlast the high-voltage systems that use them.

Each ADC input features a 3-channel analogue multiplexer (AMUX), which enables a single Si890x isolated ADC to monitor up to three different signals (typically ac mains voltage and current with the third channel serving as a spare). All three members of the Si890x family are supported by the Si890xPWR-KIT evaluation kit, which contains a master controller that enables developers to quickly and easily connect to the ac line and observe waveforms on an oscilloscope or otherwise receive serial data.

The Si890x family offers a choice of three serial interface options: UART, I2C and SPI. This interface flexibility enables developers to take advantage of existing communications ports for easy integration into their system designs, and it also allows them to connect to the isolated ADC quickly and easily without changing their system controller. The SPI port option also provides faster data throughput (up to 2.5 Mbps) for bandwidth-intensive applications.

Silicon Laboratories

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