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.
Back to Top
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:
- Powerful - A highly intelligent system, with sophisticated control, monitoring, and feedback capabilities. Able to control a tremendous range of systems,
equipment, and functions.
- Versatile - Capable of providing the user with many types and forms of
data, ranging from simple status displays to user-customized information
- Flexible - Adaptable to a wide range of user needs and differing physical
- Fast - Providing high-speed, high-performance communications. Reliable
- Thoroughly tested hardware and software, with fail-safe modes, solid
protocols, and isolation from local glitches.
- Easy to Install - Simple, consistent installation and easy-to-handle hardware and connectors, plus automatically generated wire-run diagrams and materials lists.
- Easy to Program - Wizard-based programming, with a thoughtfully designed graphical user interface (GUI). Programming both basic and advanced functions
is consistent and intuitive. Quality online help is built in.
- Easy to Use - Simple user procedures, with easy user-level programming.
- Easy to Upgrade - Easily expandable system with upgradeable hardware modules and software. Compatibility with other sophisticated AMX systems and components.
- Easy to Troubleshoot - Strong dealer and customer support program.
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.
Back to Top
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
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.
Back to Top