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May 2, 2007: New Echelon Chip to Simplify Development of Home Automation Products

April 30, 2007
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SAN JOSE, Calif. - Echelon Corp., a leading provider of networking technology, has announced a new power line based integrated circuit that is expected to speed and simplify the creation of consumer-friendly home automation products.

Echelon's PL 3170 Power Line Smart Transceiver is designed to allow manufacturers to create networked home control products that install automatically when plugged into a wall - eliminating the fear and technology complexity that consumers associate with home automation. This new power line smart transceiver is the latest addition to the company's LonWorks® products and Digital Home® technologies - hardware and software products to help drive the home automation market.

"Energy management is the key driver for home automation, and the devices that can help make a home more energy efficient - lights, fans, blinds, smart appliances, furnaces, air conditioners, and power outlets - are already connected to the power wiring. With our power line technology, these devices are already connected to the network," said Bea Yormark, Echelon's president and COO. "The new power line smart chip adds automatic installation to what is, hands down, the most reliable solution on the home automation market today. Now manufacturers have a ‘no new wires’ home automation solution that's also low cost, easy-to-develop, and doesn't require the help of an installer or electrician to install." Echelon's automatic installation software is known as Interoperable Self-Installation (ISI).

According to the company, the PL 3170 Power Line Smart Transceiver combines the industry's leading power line signaling technology with an applications processor and ISI software, all in a single chip. The ISI technology is said to make adding multi-zone lighting or multi-zone heating control as simple as plugging in a power cord. As soon as power is applied, the devices discover one another and configure themselves into fully functional control systems. System changes, such as the addition of a new device, can take place at any time without any expertise or training on the part of the user.

A unique feature of the Power Line Smart Transceivers is the ability to measure electricity. Echelon chips installed in switches, outlets, plug-in modules, and other popular products can share energy consumption information with consumers and utilities to help better manage energy in homes.

The PL 3170 Power Line Smart Transceiver will be available in summer 2007.

More information about power line control networking can be found at http://www.echelon.com/products/oem/transceivers/smartpl/default.htm.

Publication date: 04/30/2007  

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