Introducing End to End IPV6 Connectivity with PRIME v1.4 PLC Standard

Introducing End to End IPV6 Connectivity with PRIME1.4 PLC Standard


PRIME version 1.4 represents a proven power line communication (PLC) technology that performs in large-scale, future-proof smart grid deployments with operating frequency bands from CENELEC-A up to 470 KHz.

PRIME Alliance’s Application Task Force (APP TF) has released a new comprehensive IPv6 convergence sub-layer with full usage of 6LoWPAN compression layer specification.

This specification allows PRIME v1.4 to operate within IPv6 networks where every Service Node (SN) can directly reach other nodes within the PRIME Subnetwork and access the wide area network (WAN) through the Base Node (BN) as an edge router. In addition, any SN could preserve gateway capabilities supporting multiple IPv6 addresses for wider reachability. To apply IPv6 seamlessly within current PRIME addressing structure, IPv6 interface identifier is composed of PRIME-compatible EUI-48 addressing to build EUI-64 addressing similar to an Ethernet network. This addressing scheme is also supporting both IPv6 unicast and multicast communication.

Thanks to the adaptation of 6LoWPAN compression into the PRIME v1.4 specification, IPv6 header size will not impact the bandwidth-limited PRIME Subnetwork performance; smaller packet size also helps in reducing latency on PLC operation during transmission and reception as well as packet loss in PLC links.

Supporting IPv6 end-to-end connectivity can also provide IPv6 end-to-end link authentication and encryption to protect intrusion or attack and discover the anomalities within PRIME v1.4 Subnetworks.

Commenting on this achievement, Mr. Nicolas Arcauz, President of PRIME Alliance said, “PRIME v1.4 standard supporting full IPv6 will fulfill the utilities’ needs for a solution that is standards-based and offers an efficient use of IPv6 backbone to build reliable, secure and intelligent networks.”

Furthermore, PRIME v1.4 with IPv6 will enhance more innovative Internet applications, based on the networking of large numbers of nodes for use cases such as energy management for street lighting, intelligent network management, and IPv6 network can reliably transport the daily electricity usage and cost to every household.

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About PRIME Alliance

PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) Alliance AISBL was created in 2009 to define an open and future-proofed communications PLC-based infrastructure to support large scale smart metering and other smart grid deployments. The PRIME Alliance has attracted key industry players, including Sponsoring Members El Sewedy, ZIV, Renesas and Corinex. The goal of the Alliance is to provide a framework in which the smart metering and smart grid industry have access to open detailed technical specifications in order to develop fully interoperable solutions, allowing multiple vendors to be operational within the same distribution network in one common system architecture. Detailed technical specs include Physical PHY layer and Medium Access Control MAC layer specifications.

The PRIME Alliance provides a forum for the definition, maintenance and support of an open and comprehensive standard for narrowband power line for Smart Grid products and services. The mission of the Alliance is to accelerate the demand for products and services based on this worldwide standard and promote the broad adoption and use of the specification while certifying multi-vendor interoperability and compatibility with the global standard.  The Alliance is open to all potential partners who agree to actively support and promote an open and public specification for the benefit of the end-user and all industry stakeholders. Visit for more information or to join the Alliance.

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