PostHeaderIcon Powerline Protocols

August 05, 2008
Connecting Smart Homes and Smart Grids to Save Energy: Home Area Networks

By Barry Haaser, Chairman of the Digital Home Alliance and Senior Director, LONWORKS Infrastructure Business, Echelon Corporation

The most popular HAN standard using home power wiring is the ANSI/CEA 709.1 standard in the U.S. and the EN 14908 standard in Europe. Both standards support a robust protocol that is incorporated in over 100 million intelligent devices today, including over 30 million power line based devices around the globe.

San Jose, California based Echelon Corporation offers the LonWorks infrastructure, a family of hardware and software tools and components to design, install and maintain peer-to-peer control networks. All of the devices in a LonWorks network communicate using the ANSI/EIA-709.1 protocol standard. This seven-layer OSI protocol provides a set of services that allow the application program in a device to send and receive messages from other devices in the network without needing to know the topology of the network or the functions of the other devices.

Neuron Chips, a family of microprocessors supplied by Cypress Semiconductor and Toshiba, combine an ANSI/EIA-709.1 compliant processor core for running applications and managing the network communications, with a media-independent communication port, memory, I/O, and a 48-bit identification number (Neuron ID) that is unique to every device. The communication port permits short distance Neuron Chip-to-Neuron Chip communications, and can also be used with external line drivers and transceivers of almost any type.

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