Technical Overview

The USNAP framework is now part of the ANSI/CEA-2045 standard that defines the hardware interface, physical dimensions, data transfer, message contents and protocol specifics for interconnecting consumer products to multiple communications platforms. The DC format utilizes the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) port found on most chips as the transport layer, while the AC format uses the RS-485 serial communications port, which is common in heavy-duty energy management systems.

The goal is to provide a very inexpensive interface to enable virtually any consumer product to be connected together. The connector and plastic housing are expected to cost less than $0.10. Adding a communication chip and support circuitry will add another $5 to $10 in cost depending on the technology of choice. The card itself is approximately 1.5 inches square (3.81cm), making it small enough to fit into virtually any energy consuming product.

Since the ANSI/CEA-2045 standard is protocol agnostic, it can support a wide range of current and future device protocols. There are several USNAP cards available now through traditional retail channels, supporting ZigBee, Z-Wave, RDS (Radio Data System), WiFi, FlexNe and Trilliant. USNAP cards for other industry protocols are under development.

The USNAP standard supports a variety of device classes to enable a full-range of energy-aware consumer products to be attached to a network. Members of the USNAP Alliance will evolve the ANSI/CEA-2045 standard to include other popular device classes over time, as needed.

Device security is a function of the specific device protocol selected. Most protocols contain a unique ID or address, security firmware, and a binding mechanism. The intention of the spec is to use industry best practices and existing standards to ensure product security, device registration and authentication.