SAN JOSE, Calif. - Echelon Corp., a leading supplier of technology for the LonWorks® control networking platform, has announced a new low-cost development kit designed to simplify the process of evaluating and deploying control networks. The new tool, called the Mini EVK, is priced at $345 - less than one-tenth the price of previously available development kits - making it affordable for virtually any engineer to assess the viability of the LonWorks platform for his or her control network product, says the company.

"The Mini EVK is a breakthrough for designers. It is intended to excite their curiosity, demonstrate new capabilities, and significantly speed product development," said Michael Tennefoss, vice president of marketing for Echelon. "With the Mini EVK, designers can rapidly and inexpensively explore the benefits of adding control networking technology to devices as simple as a light switch - or as complex as industrial machines and system controllers for commercial buildings."

Tennefoss said that the Mini EVK features a rich evaluation and programming environment that is ideal for designers, but is also easy enough to use by product managers and systems architects, as well as educators and students. "This kit will attract and introduce an entire new generation to the world of control networking," predicted Tennefoss.

According to M. Kenneth Oshman, CEO and chairman of Echelon, "Echelon's vision is one of a world where every electronic device, no matter the size or cost, is part of a control network. Our strategy is to develop the products, technologies, and applications that make us the leader in the control networks market. Today, we are putting special emphasis on showing the value of such networks to engineers, product planners, and system architects - offering them the possibility of world-class results for a very small investment in time and money."

The Mini EVK is a development tool that is available in twisted pair and power line versions, both of which use Echelon's Smart Transceiver technology. A USB PC interface, flash memory based evaluation boards, and compiler are all included.

The Mini EVK will be available in the second quarter of 2005 through Echelon or an Echelon distributor. The price noted above is in U.S. dollars and valid in North America. Pricing may vary in other regions, says the company.

Additional information about the Mini EVK can be found at

Publication date: 03/14/2005