Zayante, which describes itself as “the industry leader in 1394 silicon and software,” has joined
Metro Link, a provider of universal plug-and-play technology, to demonstrate a complete IEEE 1394/UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) solution at this year’s 1394 Developers’ Conference in Redmond, WA. (IEEE 1394 is the technical and more boring name for FireWire.)
The technology demonstration combines Zayante’s TNF Zbox development platform and Metro Link’s UPnP protocol stack, Metro EnableWorks, to create a home automation bridge to UPnP over 1394. While it’s too soon to say exactly what this may mean for the Mac platform, the development will let a consumer control his home automation devices from his personal computer, or other UPnP control points. It also exploits the fact that both UPnP and FireWire are now provided as standard on many consumer computers.
The computer uses a FireWire connection to Zbox, which runs Zayante’s TNF software stack including IP1394. The Zayante software then enables the UPnP software on the computer to communicate with Metro Link’s UPnP protocol stack, which also runs on Zbox. As a result, the UPnP software running on the computer discovers and controls home automation devices that are connected to Zbox, such as security systems, lighting controllers and thermostats.
“Together with Metro Link, we are combining the 1394 standard with the Universal Plug and Play standard to simplify application development significantly,” said Prashant Kanhere, Zayante president and CEO, in a statement. “We are delighted to work with Metro Link as they have developed a UPnP stack particularly suited to embedded products in the consumer marketplace. Their EnableWorks UPnP stack complements Zayante’s TNF software perfectly.”
Kanhere added that the TNF Zbox includes preloaded 1394 applications such as 1394-to-Ethernet router, AV/C disk, AV/C recorder and Serial Bus Protocol (SBP-2) disk for evaluation and testing.
In the world of consumer electronics and embedded systems, devices need a handshake method to communicate status and provide control between one another. Each communication method utilizes a unique protocol stack.
Today, there are several standards emerging to overcome the handshake and communication incompatibility between manufacturers, according to Metro Link. Their protocol-neutral technology is designed to bridge this incompatibility gap with multi-protocol translation. The protocol-neutral architecture extends the grasp of any device’s handshake to universal communication. And Metro Link says it can and will support any new emerging standards, as well as proprietary protocols.
At the 1394 Developers’ Conference, there will be four presenters from Apple: Eric Anderson, Niels Gabel, James Herbert and Collin Pieper. MacCentral is at the event and will bring you full reports over the next few days.