Upstream N2 Interface Returns with Release 1.50

Last month I wrote an article describing our general product directions for 2018. This article will dig into the details of Release 1.50 and the return of our ability to support co-existence with the Metasys® supervisory controller.

The story starts several years ago when I asked our hardware supplier to update us on how long we would be able to continue ordering the Advantech UNO 2059GL platform. It turns out that my request was timely - the manufacturer had already slated this platform for EOL. We were able to place a one-time final order for systems to carry us through the next year. We’ve lived through that experience and the aftermath together so I won’t repeat the story again here. Instead, let’s take a look into the immediate future.

We worked with Advantech B&B SmartWorx to come up with a replacement hardware platform, the Advantech UNO 2362G. They met the requirement for fully isolated RS-485 (N2) interfaces using their iDoor expansion card technology. Multiple expansion cards were required to deliver a system with four isolated ports. This required an optional double depth case.

Along the way, we found that we had to take a step back in order to move forward. That’s what Release 1.50 is all about. Our development partner, Obermeier Software, generated an installation of Windows CE 5.0 that would run on this new UNO 2362G hardware platform. With some minor tweaking to the 1.50 firmware, it runs in its entirety on the new platform. We are now conducting Q/A testing. As soon as that process is complete, we will deliver the full functionality of the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router, including the Upstream N2 Interface providing co-existence with the Metasys® supervisory controller.

In addition, the UNO 2362G hardware platform provides a major increase in the memory footprint and CPU capacity available to power the system. This will provide significant performance improvements. Release 1.50 hosted on the UNO 2362G will be available for new installations starting April 1, 2018.

At that time Release 1.30 running on the UNO 2059GL will be designated a legacy system and will only receive emergency support updates for S4 partners who have active Software Assurance subscriptions. Release 1.40 running on the UNO 2059GL platform under Windows 7 Embedded Standard will receive all of the same support updates that are issued for release 1.50. The firmware running on release 1.40 is both OS and hardware independent and is the baseline code for our upcoming release 2.0. And that, my friends, is a story for another month!