10/25/2004 - Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) announced a major enhancement to its market-leading LNS® network management software for the LonWorks® platform that will significantly enhance the productivity and capability of installers and maintainers of building, industrial, transportation, utility and home automation systems. The new LNS Turbo Edition software provides a foundation on which manufacturers can build tools and applications for managing, designing, configuring, maintaining, and monitoring LonWorks automation systems and greatly reduce their time to market. By writing unique applications on top of the API-based LNS Turbo Edition software, and by customizing the user interface through which LNS Turbo Edition functions are accessed, tools can have a tailored look and feel consistent with the supplier’s corporate branding.
This announcement is one of three announcements being made in advance of this week's LonWorld 2004 Conference taking place in Shanghai, China. Collectively these announcements represent an important step forward in the continuing evolution of the LonWorks® platform, which provides the most advanced and complete networking infrastructure for everyday devices.
"The electronic devices around us are being networked together at an ever increasing rate, making easy-to-use tools that can manage and maintain such networks critically important," said Michael R. Tennefoss, Echelon vice president of marketing. "Echelon has addressed this need with the LNS network management platform, the software foundation on which customers, large and small, have built installation and maintenance tools to support open, interoperable LonWorks automation systems. The LNS Turbo Edition software is the newest member of the LNS stable of products, and includes productivity, security, and back-up enhancements that make tools faster, more fully featured, and more robust."
A wide range of performance enhancements makes the new LNS Turbo Edition a faster, more powerful productivity enhancement tool. Faster task processing, including 10 to 100 times improvements for many critical tasks, means that the installation and maintenance time required for large networks rivals that of smaller networks. In addition, LNS Turbo Edition allows multiple users to simultaneously open multiple databases, so that technicians equipped with separate tools can work on the same or different parts of the automation system at the same time, greatly reducing overall system installation time and cost. For example, in a new building the local elevator, HVAC, security, and sub blind installers could simultaneously commission their respective parts of the system while a remote central station tracks the process and conducts a diagnostic scan of the overall system. Since the cost of skilled labor is a large part of any automation system installation, faster task processing and coordinated work processes directly translate into cost savings.
Important players in the automation industry including Honeywell, Siemens, Johnson Controls, and Philips have already widely adopted the LNS software. Tennefoss indicated that the breadth of industry support for the LNS network management platform is one of the reasons why the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included LNS software in its recently announced tri-service Unified Facilities Guide Specification. Moreover, Echelon expects many other companies, institutions, and organizations to follow suit.
Remote diagnostics and device upgrade capabilities are two additional key features of LNS Turbo Edition. Instead of sending a technician to diagnose a communication problem, LNS Turbo Edition works through Echelon's i.LON® 10 Ethernet Adapter and i.LON 100 Internet Server to diagnose problems over a broadband or Internet connection. If the resolution requires an upgrade to firmware in an automation device, LNS Turbo Edition allows firmware images to be upgraded over the Internet and LonWorks automation network, without physically touching the device, eliminating yet another service call.
To ensure the integrity of the overall system and save valuable troubleshooting time, database recovery and validation tools are built into the LNS Turbo Edition software. The database recovery feature allows a complete back-up of open LNS databases without shutting down running applications. Such a back-up feature can yield enormous savings should the automation system need to be recovered and restarted. Additionally, a built-in database validation tool allows users to repair database problems caused by application malfunctions, hardware failures, or operating system errors. The validation tool can analyze and repair a wide variety of problems, saving valuable troubleshooting time and allowing the system to be brought back on-line faster.
LNS Turbo Edition is compatible with corporate IT systems equipped with private IP addresses and network address translation (NAT) firewalls. To further enhance security, encryption keys used by the devices in a LonWorks automation system are sent over Ethernet and Internet wide area networks using RC4 Encryption. Originally created by RSA Security, RC4 uses a cipher to encrypt data one byte at a time, and is widely used for file, communication, and Internet security applications.
LNS Turbo Edition is expected to begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2004. Existing LNS customers can purchase a Turbo Edition upgrade at a discount. For additional information please contact your local Echelon sales office, the locations of which may be found at http://www.echelon.com/about/sales/default.htm. More information about LNS Turbo Edition can be found at http://www.echelon.com/lns.
About the LonWorld 2004 Exhibition and Conference
Echelon and LonMark International are co-organizers of LonWorld 2004. The LonWorld event is the world’s leading annual forum for the LonWorks industry, allowing hardware and software manufacturers, specifiers, integrators, value added resellers, consulting and design engineers, distributors, facility managers, energy managers and executives, and buyers of "smart" products to see and learn firsthand about new products, applications, and technological advances in networking everyday devices. More information can be found at http://www.lonworldexpo.com.
About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) is the world leader in networking machines and everyday devices. The company offers a comprehensive line of hardware and software products for automating building, consumer, industrial, transportation, and utility products using LonWorks networks, an international, cross-industry, open standard for interoperable device networks.
Echelon is based in San Jose, California with international offices in China, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Further information can be found at http://www.echelon.com.
Echelon, LonWorks, LonMark, LNS, i.LON, and the Echelon logo are trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries.
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