Panasonic will adopt Renesas’ R9A06G037 power line communication (PLC) IC for its new railway platform lighting control system. Panasonic and East Japan Railway Company (“JR East”) jointly developed the new station platform lighting control system using G3-PLC, a narrowband PLC standard (10 to 450 kHz) for outdoor use. The system is currently deployed on the platforms at Takanawa Gateway Station, a new station in Tokyo serving the JR East Yamanote and the Keihin Tohoku lines.

Previously, adjusting brightness and colour for lighting fixtures on the platforms required the installation of dedicated signal lines separate from the power lines. PLC makes it possible to transmit control signals over power lines, thereby reducing the amount of wiring needed, and correspondingly lowering the associated costs and installation time.
“I am delighted to launch our new lighting control system, featuring brightness and color adjustment functionality for the station platform,” said Yasunori Kawase, general manager of the Lighting Systems Department at Panasonic: “This was the first time we utilised narrowband PLC in a lighting system, and leveraging Renesas’ technical support and extensive experience using this technology in smart meters worldwide, we successfully completed all stages of the rollout process, from field testing to actual operation. I am confident that with the collaboration of Renesas, we will further expand the use of narrowband PLC in our lighting systems moving forward.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with Panasonic on the development of their PLC-based lighting control system over the past five years,” said Toru Moriya, vice president of the Emerging Markets Division, IoT and Infrastructure Business Unit at Renesas: “We worked closely to overcome the technical issues associated with communications systems, particularly noise challenges, and we are excited to now see the system actually running in the railway station system. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Panasonic on the development of lighting control systems for a variety of environments.”
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