Overview & Benefits

Overview

G3-PLC is a proven Powerline Communication technology offering lowest total cost of ownership and independency on telecom operators. It facilitates high-speed, highly-reliable, long-range communication over the existing powerlines. The features and capabilities of G3-PLC have been developed to address the difficult challenges of powerline communications. While earlier approaches were a step in the right direction, they fall short of meeting the technical and reliability requirements necessary in the hostile environment of PLC.

G3-PLC meets these requirements because of its unique features such as a mesh routing protocol to determine the best path between remote network nodes, a “robust” mode to improve communication under noisy channel conditions and channel estimation to select the optimal modulation scheme between neighbouring nodes. Furthermore, its support of IPv6, enabling easy integration of various application profiles, adds high versatility and carries G3-PLC well into the future.

G3-PLC is an open, international standard published by the International Telecommunication Unit ITU (https://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-G.9903).

Field tests have proven that the simple elegance of a G3-PLC system lowers infrastructure costs when compared to other wired and wireless communications architectures. By communicating on the very powerline infrastructure it measures and controls, it avoids the need to create new communication paths through obstacles such as buildings, hills, and basements that block wireless communications. So, installation and maintenance costs are lower.

Benefits

G3-PLC was designed to meet present and future advanced networking and application layer needs. G3-PLC is the world’s only CENELEC /FCC/ARIB PLC solution supporting true IPv6 addressing.

When evaluating communications technologies, it is important to find a solution that

  • Provides a cost effective system architecture: By communicating over the existing powerlines, PLC technology minimizes infrastructure and maintenance costs. G3-PLC provides the long range communications and cost efficiency for medium- and low-voltage power grids.
  • Is standards based to ensure interoperability: G3-PLC is an international ITU standard and supports frequency bands worldwide (10 kHz to 490 kHz). The G3-PLC Alliance manages a strong certification program to facilitate interoperability between all adopters of the standard.
  • Includes security mechanisms to protect grid assets: G3-PLC supports MAC-level security using an AES-128 cryptographic engine.
  • Can function in harsh, noisy environments: The “robust” mode of G3-PLC improves communication under noisy channel conditions, operates at -1 dB SNR.
  • Coexists with older technologies such as S-FSK: G3-PLC coexists with older S-FSK (IEC 61334), and broadband IEEE P1901 and ITU G.hn standards.

Unique features

The features and capabilities of G3-PLC™ have been developed to address the difficult challenges of powerline communications. While earlier approaches were a step in the right direction, they fall short of meeting the technical and reliability requirements necessary in the hostile environment of PLC. The unique features of G3-PLC meet these requirements.

  • OFDM-based PHY (BPSK, QPSK, 8PSK) makes efficient use of the spectrum
  • Compliant with world regulatory bodies such as CENELEC, ARIB, and FCC (10 kHz – 490 kHz)
  • Standards based — pre-standard in IEEE, ITU, IEC/CENELEC and IEC/SAE.
  • Two layers of forward error correction (FEC) for robust data communication in harsh channels
  • Adaptive tone mapping for optimal bandwidth utilization
  • Channel estimation to select the optimal modulation scheme between neighbouring nodes
  • “Robust” mode to improve communication under noisy channel conditions
  • IEEE 802.15.4-based MAC layer well suited to low data rates
  • 6LoWPAN adaptation layer to transmit IPv6 packets over powerline channels
  • AES-128 cryptographic engine for optimum data security
  • Coexistence with older S-FSK (IEC 61334), and broadband IEEE P1901 and ITU G.hn standards
  • Supports IPv6 to allow Internet-based energy management systems and applications
  • Mesh routing protocol to determine the best path between remote network nodes.