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
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.