2020 Volume 11 Issue 4 Pages 433-445
Asynchronous Pulse-Code Multiple Access (APCMA) has been proposed as a brain-inspired communication protocol based on pulse-like signals (Peper et al, The Brain & Networks, 2018). Encoding data as intervals between pulses, APCMA allows multiple transmitters to transmit pulse trains at arbitrary times. While this typically causes collisions in conventional multiple access protocols, it does not do so in APCMA. Even if pulse trains collide and a receiver receives a mixture of them, they are disentangled by a demodulation algorithm that is based on a spike automaton, which is a type of finite automaton that is designed to recognize specific sequences of pulses. This makes APCMA especially suitable for data multiplexing in a communication system that lacks carrier-sense functionality. In this paper, we apply the APCMA protocol to an electrical power packet routing system. The power packet router lacks carrier-sense functionality, which would be necessary for transmission from multiple sources in a conventional communication protocol. We design and implement the modulation and the demodulation protocols of APCMA on a FPGA in power packet router devices. Our experimental results show that the proposed APCMA-based power routing system can transmit multiple power packets simultaneously without collisions.