Wireless Applications

Synapse Announces Next-Generation Wireless Network Products

March 12, 2008

The new devices will provide users with instant-on wireless mesh networks. Users can add their own intelligence to wireless nodes without programming skills.


HUNTSVILLE, AL /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Synapse announced the shipping of its next-generation wireless network products—the Synapse Pro product line—which fully delivers on the promise of low-cost, high-performance wireless communications.

The new products provide users with instant-on wireless mesh networks. Users also have the ability to add their own intelligence to wireless nodes without embedded programming skills. Much like modern spreadsheets, Synapse Pro technology just works reliably, efficiently, and—most importantly—transparently. It isn't necessary to create complex programs or compile abstract code. Users simply decide how they want the system to behave and instruct each node as if they were typing instructions into the cell of a spreadsheet. This approach makes wireless technology accessible to a much broader range of users.

The Synapse Pro product line consists of the SNAP Pro (Synapse Network Appliance Protocol) software stack, Synapse RF Engine modules, a variety of physical wireless SNAP Nodes, and the Portal Pro wireless application development and network administration environment.

SNAP Pro and Synapse RF Engine Modules
At the core of the Synapse Pro product line is the SNAP Pro high-performance, low-power, wireless mesh networking protocol. The small memory footprint of the SNAP Pro software stack leaves lots of room for user applications. The combination of SNAP Pro running on a Synapse RF Engine module provides an instant-on wireless mesh network node, with an exceptional 3 mile maximum range.

SNAP Pro-based networks are self-forming, which means that the network establishes itself—when a new node is powered up, it is automatically integrated into the network. These networks are also self-healing—if a node catastrophically fails for any reason, other nodes automatically route signals around the failed node.

"We've literally spent the past 10 years looking to go wireless. Over that time, we evaluated every platform that was available, trying to find a solution that met our criteria of size, reliability, range, and price," states Jerry Drew, President of NetworkThermostat. "The Synapse RF Engine was the only one that met all four of our criteria. We've now integrated this engine into our products, and I have no hesitation in saying that Synapse and its products have satisfied all of our requirements from technical support through system integration."

SNAP Nodes
There are a variety of physical wireless SNAP Nodes, each of which employs a Synapse RF Engine module to perform its wireless communications. A SNAP Pro-based network can support up to 16 million physical nodes.

End-device nodes are used to monitor and control the real world. Unlike conventional mesh networks, end-device nodes can communicate directly with each other, and there is no need for special router nodes. There is no central point of failure; any node can talk directly to any other node that is in range. Any node can talk indirectly to any other node via intermediate nodes, and routes between nodes do not have to be preconfigured by the user.

Portal Pro
Portal Pro is a software environment that runs on a PC. It can be used to develop applications and deploy them over-the-air to physical SNAP Nodes. Portal Pro can also be used to configure and manage the network as required, and it can provide additional functions, such as data logging, event monitoring, and debugging.

When a PC running Portal Pro is connected to a physical node (via RS-232 or USB), that node automatically becomes the bridge into the network. Small, fast, and extremely efficient, Portal Pro is seen by the network as "just another node"—in the same way that an application running on Portal Pro can access applications running on the physical nodes, the physical nodes can also communicate with applications running on Portal Pro (and on the PC).

Applications can be developed and/or modified in Portal Pro using a high-level English-type language. No embedded programming experience is required.

Dave Thomas, Hardware/Software Engineer for Decisive Analytics Corp. said, "I've worked with numerous network tools, most of which require multiple applications to perform tasks, such as editing code, listing the nodes in the mesh, and indicating the status of nodes. By comparison, Synapse Portal Pro provides all of these functions in a single, intuitive, easy-to-use interface. For example, using Portal Pro I can click on a node to determine the application that's running on that node; I can call up the source for that application and make a modification; and I can upload the new application into the target node over-the-air, all in a matter of seconds."

The Synapse Network Evaluation Kit
As part of this announcement, Synapse is offering its Synapse Network Evaluation Kit, the EK2500, to allow potential customers and OEMs to evaluate the capabilities of the Synapse Pro product line. This evaluation kit includes a four-node license for Portal Pro, one SNAP Node Bridge, one SNAP Node End Device, and one SNAP Node ProtoBoard (each node is equipped with a Synapse RF Engine preloaded with SNAP Pro and demonstration application scripts).

"The Synapse Pro Evaluation Kit is great," states Andy Griffis, CEO of Strong Watch Sensors. "It's easy to use, and you immediately get a, fully functioning mesh network right out of the box. In fact, to be honest with you, it was my 12-year old son who set it up; he read the quick-start instructions, added the batteries, powered everything up, and said, 'Dad, come and look at this.' I was absolutely amazed!"

Availability and Pricing
The complete line of Synapse Pro products is available now. The Synapse Network Evaluation Kit (EK2500) is priced at $995.00.

About Synapse Solutions Now
In addition to our Synapse Pro Product Line, we also offer custom wireless network services. We have helped numerous customers overcome barriers and speed up their time to market. We are experts in designing and implementing RF stages and wireless modules, wireless network stacks and network applications, and all forms of wireless network nodes.

About Synapse
Synapse is dedicated to developing easy to use, intelligent, wireless, machine communication that really works. Reliable machine communication enables energy savings, increased productivity, reduced maintenance costs, and amazing convenience to users. Because this technology is wireless, it is easy and inexpensive to install and provides rapid return on investment to our customers.


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