The Solution for Control Networks
LonWorks is actually a family of products originally developed by the Echelon Corporation. At the core of this technology is a peer-to-peer communications protocol called LonTalk.
Echelon's designers decided to develop a special type of communications "chip" which was uniquely well suited to implementing LonTalk. Using this chip, and the appropriate software, much of the burden of implementing LonTalk can be absorbed completely by the communications chip, freeing the rest of the system for application tasks. This communications chip is called the Neuron®.
Controllers that make use of LonWorks can communicate with each other through what LonWorks calls Standard Network Variable Types or SNVTs (pronounced "sniv-it"). The SNVT method is a different approach to defining data objects that requires a detailed knowledge on the part of the sender and receiver of what the structure of each SNVT is. SNVTs are identified by a code number that the receiving controller can use to determine how to interpret the information presented in each SNVT.
The LonTalk protocol is optimized for networking devices over media such as twisted pair, powerlines, fiber optics, and RF. It is popular for the automation of various functions in industrial control, home automation, transportation, and building systems such as lighting and HVAC.
Visit Echelon's website to learn more about LonWorks and the LonTalk protocol: