Energy Measurement

Why choose an AFE over an SOC in your Energy Measurement Solution?

New generations of energy measurement applications are driving innovation beyond the familiar utility meter. Smart plugs, smart appliances and power supplies for intense-use applications are enabling businesses, enterprises and even consumers to more accurately account for their energy usage. Armed with relevant data, consumers can now use that information to make smarter decisions to manage their energy consumption.

Since 1999, Cirrus Logic has focused solely on developing the best AFE products in the semiconductor industry, freeing designers to use the MCU of their choice in their design. This approach enables customers to optimize performance and price on every platform and provides flexibility across platforms to meet changing market requirements.

  • Types of Applications
  • Utility Meter
  • Smart Appliances
  • Smart Plugs/Strips
  • Smart Power Supply

Utility Meter

Cirrus Logic AFEs enable the cost-effective deployment of high-accuracy smart meters that have directly contributed to the development of smart grids throughout the world.

  • Highest Accuracy: Our accuracy performance is very flat over a long range, and ultra-low noise level and high SNR make us the market leader in accuracy.
  • Low Cost: Optimizing die sizes, building our devices as hard coded ROMs, avoiding expensive flash memory and designing AFEs using cost optimized process technology reduces expenses.
  • Fast Calibration: Due to our superior analog performance, offset correction is very fast. With a calibration time of 2-3 seconds, we are up to 10 times quicker than many competing SOC solutions, which significantly speeds production.
  • Flexibility: Cirrus’ AFE approach allows the customers to lock in the metrology portion of their designs across the globe and free up their designers to focus on selecting the appropriate MCU to satisfy the local requirements for communications, LCD drive, IO etc.
  • Ease of Use: Pre-programmed power calculation engine eliminates any need for manual programming and also mitigates security concerns.

Smart Appliances

To effectively monitor energy usage within the home, consumers need to understand how their appliances — washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, etc., — consume electricity. If consumers can, in effect, itemize the consumption, they are empowered with the knowledge to make informed decisions to better manage and optimize overall consumption habits or even perhaps remedy a malfunctioning device: Is the refrigerator consuming unusually large amounts of electricity? Perhaps the motor is breaking down and needs replacing? If my utility has reduced per-kilowatt-hour pricing at night, perhaps it’s less expensive to operate the dryer during that time?

Smart appliances are able to monitor and report energy consumption, perform advanced diagnostics based on energy use, automatically respond to utility signals for time-of-use rate changes and service malfunctioning devices. These functions provide cost savings to utilities as well as consumers.

Smart Plugs/Strips

Smart plugs and smart powerstrips were, until recent years, unknown consumer devices. These products are a rapidly growing segment of the energy measurement market that is being driven by consumers seeking real-time information about the electricity usage of household products: computers, displays, cable boxes, home theater systems, lamps, etc.

Via optimized remote on-off control, they enable a reduction in overall energy consumption. Some smart plugs/ smart strips use wireless communication, such as Zigbee or Wi-Fi, to connect to a USB hub that plugs into a home or office computer and compile information from measuring the various devices within the home. In addition, this hub can provide automation to reduce consumption by automatically turning off unused loads.

Low-cost AFE solutions from Cirrus Logic are critical components to meet the cost-sensitive and rapidly-changing requirements of the consumer market.

Smart Power Supply

Smart power supply monitoring systems are designed for measuring and relaying energy usage information in high-performance systems such as servers, telecommunications racks, storage racks and PCs. Continuously increasing demand for computer resources such as cloud computing has resulted in exponential growth in the number of data center servers.

Cirrus Logic understands the challenge this presents to IT managers and equipment manufacturers, and through its portfolio of energy measurement ICs, it partners with them to create green data centers through energy efficient solutions such as power-managed servers.

Cirrus’ new CS548X/9X family features built-in calculations and very fast calibration, which speeds production cycles and enables customers to use low-cost manufacturing locations.

Cirrus’ components enable extremely accurate measurement of energy consumption, allowing data centers to optimize server utilization for efficiency and better return on investment.

Cirrus Logic Energy Measurement Analog Front End (AFE) ICs consist of:

  • High-resolution 24-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs)
  • A proven, pre-programmed power calculation core that provides active, reactive, and apparent power, Power Factor, and instantaneous or rms voltage and current
  • Serial or energy pulses for communication

Highest accuracy

  • Dedicated ADC for every channel
  • Ultra-low noise level and high Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)

Lowest Cost

  • Years of experience have optimized our designs, and utilizing a ROM process minimizes costs
  • Flexibility – rather than using an SOC solution that locks an application into a fixed amount of memory, peripherals, IO and potentially higher cost, Cirrus Logic AFEs can be combined with the right MCU for every application. This approach helps ensure that designs are performance- and cost-optimized for the task


  • All power calculations are hard-coded into the IC. No user programming is required for accurate energy measurement
  • Fast and easy on-chip calibration takes a just a few seconds, saving precious time in production

Analog Front End

Supported Products
  • CS5490
    Two Channel Energy Measurement IC
  • CS5480
    Three Channel Energy Measurement IC
  • CS5484
    Four Channel Energy Measurement IC
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Energy Measurement Application Diagrams
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