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Control net products upgraded

Posted: 05 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:control networks  twisted-pair transceivers  LonWorks nodes  hardware multipliers 

Neuron 5000

Echelon Corp. has announced that it is upgrading the chips and software that make up its LonWorks suite. The company says its new products will make it easier and cheaper to deploy control networks.

Echelon will crank its Neuron 5000 processor up to 40MHz, twice its previous maximum speed. It also is rolling out two twisted-pair transceivers.

The chips now sport on-board hardware multipliers and dividers, fast serial memory interfaces and support for 254 network variables (up from 62) so nodes can make more functional links. The additional muscle will let users install networks that require fewer control processors and transceivers.

The net result is users could cut in half the cost of existing LonWorks nodes. "It's a big leap," said Abhay Gupta, a product manager for Echelon.

The Neuron 5000 processor and FT 5000 transceivers will sample in May and be in production in August. To preserve compatibility, the LonWorks control networks will continue to support the existing data rates of 78Kbps on twisted pair and 6.6Kbps over powerline.

On the software side, Echelon has upgraded its LNS FX network OS, LonMaker FX installation tool and its NodeBuilder FX Development Tool and Mini FX evaluation kit. Both the new OS and the LonMaker integration tool for field installers automatically recognise Neuron 5000-based chips.

The upgraded OS and installation tools will not be available until 2010. The NodeBuilder development tool will be available in May with the Mini FX kit following Q4.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times

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