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Universal Powerline Bus

Q: What is UPB?

A: Simply, The X10 Replacement Technology...

UPB is a technology that uses your existing power wiring to send signals that control lights and electrical loads from any location inside or outside your home. Since UPB needs ZERO new wires, it is an inexpensive and reliable solution for power line home automation! While other power line communications technologies exist (X10), none compare to UPB in cost per node, functionality and most importantly;reliability.

Imagine- press one button on your bedroom wall switch to fade out ALL the lights in your home at night, leaving just the hallway light dimmed to 10% as a nightlight. Press the "Bathroom" button, and your path to the bathroom lights up at half brightness to aid in midnight bathroom runs. Then, press the "Good morning" button and your ceiling fan and the lights in the kitchen come on so you can cook breakfast. Plug an appliance module into your coffee pot and now your coffee can be made from upstairs! All this, and much more is possible with UPB.


  • 500x More Reliable than X10
  • 40v UPB signal, vs. 4v using X10
  • 30x Faster than X10
  • No more noise issues
  • No more filtering issues
  • 64,000 Total Address

Advantages of UPB: 

Highly Reliable - The UPB method of communication is 100 ~ 1000 times more reliable than current X-10 technology and 10 ~100 times more reliable than CEBUS or LONWORKS powerline technologies. Reliability is defined as the percentage of transmitter/receiver pairs that correctly operate upon initial installation. The UPB test units are randomly installed in the environment typical of the target market. This market is defined as the single-family residential market in the US . This environment is defined to be the existing base of homes, without any modifications. This means that there should be no "fixing" the electrical system of the residence by adding couplers, repeaters or filtering. The first version of UPB will be over 99.9% reliable (>100 times X-10). Current X-10 is around 70%~80%.

No New Wires - 100% powerline communicationno new wires.

Affordable - The incremental cost to add two way communications transmitting and receiving components to a microprocessor-based application circuit is approximately the same as the cost to add X-10 type transmitting / receiving components. This cost is less than $4.00 in US parts and anticipated royalty costs.

Higher Speed - 20 to 40 times the speed of X- 10 in terms of data transmitted. This is equivalent to over ten full commands per second. The average latency of command to action is less than .1 second.

Two Way Communications - Hardware, software and protocol design allow for two-way communication in all products.

House Separation - Multiple houses on one transformer will be separated by means of an addressing scheme allowing for at least 256 systems (houses) on each transformer. UPB system incorporates over 64,000 total address space vs 256 for conventional X-10. There will also be applicable encryption incorporated into the DLL layer and if necessary at the higher network layers.

Interaction - UPB communication can be used in the presence of all X-10, CEBus, or LonWorks compatible equipment with no interference between either UPB equipment or X-10, CEBus, or LonWorks equipment. The UPB technology uses a completely different frequency range than any of the wide-band, narrow-band, or spread spectrum technologies. The physical method of UPB communication is entirely different than the modulation-demodulation techniques of all X-10, CEBus, or LonWorks.

Peer to Peer - No central controller necessary for single point-to-point control or group (scene) control.

Simplicity - the UPB solution uses "off the shelf" components for transmission, receiving and control circuits, including standard microprocessors. No ASIC's (application specific integrated circuits) are necessary.

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