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About AMX

AMX Systems

AMX's Integrated Systems

AMX Systems

About AMX

AMX designs, develops, and markets advanced electronic hardware and software that extend Internet content to non-PC devices that target both the residential and enterprise markets. These devices deliver information and entertainment direct to existing electronic devices, including stereos and televisions, to optimize the benefits of broadband access. AMX's strategy is to work with leading technology companies, content providers and distribution partners to develop broadband entertainment applications, further integrate its products with other devices, and lead the creation of solutions that extend the Internet beyond the PC.

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AMX Systems

AMX Corporation has developed a totally integrated set of hardware and software solutions for home automation. Each AMX component is designed to blend seamlessly into a powerful and flexible home automation system.

Some home automation systems are less expensive, but don't provide much performance or reliability. Other systems provide much more functionality, but might suffer in performance or cost a fortune. AMX Corporation's goal was to provide not only the best features of all other existing systems, but to go far beyond those systems in every category. The AMX Landmark and NetLinx Systems had to be:

AMX did not reinvent the entire wheel, applying certain well-proven technologies whenever it was appropriate to do so, and filled the gaps with innovative solutions that eliminated compromise and met stringent design and performance goals. The basic philosophy of the AMX Landmark System is to use the best tool for each job, and make all of the tools work seamlessly together. AMX had to create many of their own specialized hardware and software components, since much of the existing equipment and software could not meet the AMX System requirements.

The results were extremely gratifying. The AMX System is quickly being recognized as a milestone in home automation systems; cleverly conceived and carefully crafted to meet the present and future demands of the growing home automation market.

Many AMX components use the Echelon Neuron chip as the CPU for their proprietary circuits. This processor gives each of these components tremendous potential for programmability, functionality, and expandability. It has proven to be a powerful and reliable component and is manufactured by industry giants, including Motorola and Toshiba. The AMX network is based on the Echelon chip, an intelligent networked microprocessor. The Echelon network resembles an Ethernet PC network, in which each node on the network has its own intelligence and its own unique address. Every device receives every message broadcast over the network, and each device compares the address on the message to its own address. If the addresses don't match, the device ignores the message. A unique address is burned into each Echelon chip, which prevents the possibility of locking up the network by having two devices with the same address.

A major difference between the AMX network and other computer networks is the role of the "master" in network communication, Many networks use a peer-to-peer communication scheme, in which any device can send messages to any other device. The AMX network uses the master as a "traffic cop" to regulate the traffic on the network and maintain network availability even during periods of heavy traffic. The master also interprets messages from each device, via software device drivers that run on the master. The device drivers convert system commands and conditionals into device-specific messages. This provides interoperability between existing and future devices, greatly reduces the required complexity of each device, and provides maximum flexibility in programming the system.

One problem with early coax-based Ethernet networks is that all devices were daisy-chained on a single network wire. If there were a short or a break in the wire, none of the devices on the network would work. 10-base-T Ethernet solved this problem with the hub concept, where all devices had their own wire, and a wiring failure would only affect one device. The AMX hub combines these two approaches to minimize wiring and to simplify network troubleshooting. A wiring fault may cause an entire string on a hub port to fail, but the rest of the network is usually unaffected. AMX recommends limiting the number of devices per hub port to 10 or less, to simplify troubleshooting a faulty wire or connection.

The AMX hub also provides power to keypads on the network (pins 4&5), and the microphone hub converts the balanced audio signal (pins 3&6) from the IMS and DMS keypads to line level. CAT 5 wire is limited to providing 750 milliamperes of DC current, some of which is lost over a long wire. Each hub port can power up to 10 of any combination of 1-button, 2-button or mini-IR receivers, or IMS or DMS keypad. The IMS and DMS keypads also need to be home-run, due to the balanced audio signal from the microphone. Home-running keypads also enables keypads to be directly replaced with other high-speed interface devices in the future.

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AMX's Integrated Systems

AMX's Integrated Systems division focuses on serving and expanding our core commercial, education, entertainment, and residential markets. Over the past 17 years, we've constructed solid leadership positions as AMX Corporation — built with world-class products, exhaustive research, fanatical customer support, and our unending commitment to fun. We love what we do, and so have our customers.

Our systems make technology comfortable for people, integrating a wide range of components and resources into a unified, easy-to-use-system. All AMX systems are Internet-ready, and can interact with each other, PC-based server applications, and network/Internet-driven data and services. Every system component is a potential Internet appliance, and every Internet service is a potential system device. We're extending the Internet beyond the PC.

All AMX systems, including existing AMX AXCESS, NetLinx and PHAST Landmark systems, can network with each other via a common language — AMX ICSP, an Internet standard based on IP technology. At the system level, the Master processor transfers data through the local controlnet, linking every device to the network and the Internet.

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