Adept Systems Inc. is developing and marketing high technology products for interoperable networked control systems based on the LonTalk (ANSI 709.1) and LonTalk over IP (EIA 852) protocols.
Adept Systems Inc. wrote the C Reference Implementation of the LonTalk® protocol that is part of the current ANSI/EIA 709.1 protocol standard. In addition to the C Reference Implementation development work, the principals in Adept Systems were innovators in the use of LonTalk/ANSI 709.1 for shipboard systems and have unique expertise in its application and implementation. Adept Systems seeks to capitalize on this expertise as this market matures by developing and marketing innovative products and technology. One of these is Adept’s mature portable high performance implementation of the ANSI 709.1 protocol called GadgetStack. Adept Systems also provides design and consulting services for the development and porting of custom high performance implementations of the LonTalk protocol and component level intelligent distributed control systems as well as software and hardware design and development. The staff of Adept Systems Inc. is experienced in total system design and integration of automated systems.
Distributed networked control systems are revolutionizing the way factories, buildings, ships, and homes are automated. What personal computers were to the 1980’s and the Internet has been for the 1990’s, networked control systems will be for the next decade.
Network centric automation systems have the potential to connect every electromechanical device for the purpose of sharing information and control. These component level or device level networks can then be connected to LANs and the internet for remote monitoring, control, and enterprise integration. Because this approach to networked control is highly cost effective relative to traditional centralized control approaches it is the wave of the future. The key is an open interoperable network protocol that allows the customer to build an automated system from a variety of vendors as opposed to being locked into a single proprietary vendor.
Open Protocol Experts
In 1996 Echelon recognized that in order for LonTalk to become an industry standard it must become “open” for implementation by others and on other processors besides the Neuron® Chip. Adept was contracted by Echelon to write a C Reference Implementation of the protocol. In October of 1999 LonTalk became a new ANSI standard called 709.1. The C Reference Implementation developed by Adept is part of the 709.1 specification.
The HSC-1 committee of the Consumer Electronics Organization (CEA) is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the 709.x standard. Adept is a voting member of the HSC-1 and is an active supporter of enhancements to the standard. Non-Neuron implementations of the ANSI 709.1 standard require a royalty-free license from Echelon. Adept was the first licensee. Since the announcement by Echelon in 1996 to open the protocol, the 709.1 industry has experienced exponential growth. This has generated business opportunities for providing implementations of the protocol and associated network interfaces, gateways, routers, network management software, and development tools. These are all opportunities Adept is actively pursuing.
New EIA 852 IP Tunneling Protocol for 709.1 Packets
The EIA HSC-1 committee recently adopted the new EIA 852 standard for the tunneling of ANSI 709.1 packets over IP networks. 852 makes TCP/IP an acceptable alternative MAC layer for 709.1. Adept was an active participant in bringing the 852 standard to fruition and has already developed 852 compliant products. Moreover, a revision of the 709.1 standard is about to be approved, called 709.1B, which includes enhancements to the protocol as well as the inclusion of 852.