Powerline Communication

The technology

The Powerline Communication Technology (PLC) enables the transfer of data via voltage supply lines. For this purpose, the data need to be modulated. A PLC transceiver acts as modem and provides the interface between the microcontroller and the voltage supply. The PLC elements offer a wide application range in the automotive sector, the aerospace industry, and other industrial branches. The PLC technology allows for the multiplexing of different communication networks using the same voltage supply lines.

Powerline Communication

Powerline Communication via a DC-Bus

Advantages of the PLC technology:

1) Cost containment

Every control unit is in any case connected with the two lines of the voltage supply (GND & Vcc). Owing to the PLC technology, these lines get a second function – the data transfer. That way the additional communication lines which are usually necessary become redundant. This, in turn, results in a reduction of costs since the standard lines are made of copper and the price for this commodity has been on a constant rise. On the other hand, the price of silicon, which is used for the PLC transceivers, has dropped.

Even more cost containment can be realized with the simplification of the wiring harness, as the integration time of components with PLC interface is reduced drastically.

2) Weight

The reduction of the wiring harness thanks to PLC has a remarkable effect on the weight of parts in motion. The higher the weight, the higher the energy consumption. Therefore it can be said, that the PLC technology has a cost-cutting effect on the consumption of e.g. fuel or electricity.

3) Error source

Additional communication lines always pose a potential source of errors. Owing to the PLC technology these error sources can be reduced.

Examples of application

  • Tail light and rear view mirror control for vehicles
  • Battery management system
  • Electrical vehicles to charging station communication
  • Sensor/ actuator bus
  • ...


We have been partnering with the company Yamar since EXPLINOVO GmbH ´s early days. YAMAR products are our first choice when it comes to developing products related to Powerline Communication.

Support by EXPLINOVO

We provide you with assistance in the integration of the PLC technology into your products and develop the appropriate printed circuit board for your application using the required interfaces such as CAN, LIN, UART, SPI, FlexRay, or a simple connection to a host microcontroller. At the same time you can count on us when it comes to developing the software application. Contact us!

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