Tag Archives: Marvell Armada 300 SoC

Wireless Energy Management with Linux

Home and commercial builders often need appliances for automation and energy management. Check-It Solutions has a product just for this purpose. This is the CG-300 Controller, a Linux-based monitoring and control appliance for managing energy for home and commercial establishments.

Running on a Marvell Armada 300 SoC, the 88F6282, at 1.2GHz, the CG-300 offers its users short-range wireless services such as Z-Wave, ZigBee, Ethernet and optional LTE. Users can access the turnkey Energy Management Starter Kit for the device with a web-portal service on their smartphone. With the kit, users can run a Dent metering service and use its Energy Star benchmarking.

If your building already has an existing automation system, CG-300 can communicate via protocols such as Modbus or BACnet for centralizing monitoring information or controlling functions. CG-300 can operate as a standalone controller also and communicate with sensors at multiple locations for retrieving data. It can report and conduct data analysis on the information it receives from the sensors. Check-It Solutions has a turnkey Energy Management Starter Kit, which the CG-300 can access via a web portal.

Spread of home automation systems has arguably slowed because of the lack of consensus for a single short-range wireless technology – the battle between ZigBee and Z-Wave supports this. By offering both the radio technologies in one product, the bipartisan approach of Check-It has made it easier and more affordable for users. For a more uniform and predictable RF coverage, CG-300 offers individual RP-SMA dipole antenna for the two. Moreover, users can upgrade the Z-Wave stack on the device from the host SoC, because the device has a built-in programming circuit for the Z-Wave ASIC.

The CG-300 operates with 1GB of SLC NAND flash and 512MB of DDR3 RAM offering dual USB ports and a single gigabit Ethernet port. The SLC NAND flash is of high write-endurance type. If you need a 4G LTE/HSPA radio, go for the CG-300c model, which uses an external SIM card slot of the MiniPCIe type. The Z-Wave on CG-300 operates at 900MHz with a 168mm RP-SMA external antenna, while the ZigBee operates at 2.4GHz with a 76mm RP-SMA external antenna.

The Operating System for the device is a 3.4 kernel customized Linux. With the main application based on Java, it offers flexible IO scheduling with event-driven script execution. For additional optimization on ARM, Check-It has gone with a licensed, proprietary Oracle JVM rather than OpenJDK.
Using Oracle JVM, the controller can utilize the cellular and Ethernet connectivity for automatic failover for Internet connectivity. However, local traffic always prefers Ethernet connectivity and the process is useful for communicating with local PLCs and BACnet devices.

The CG-300 comes as a part of the turnkey solution that Check-It offers – the Energy Management Starter Kit. The CG-300 functions to manage communications between installed devices, while forwarding information to the secure hosted web portal, the Check-It Solutions Platform.

The web portal allows users to monitor energy and water usage and benchmark the performance of buildings, while identifying potential savings in energy usage. The system allows control and automation of lighting, HVAC and electrical loads.