IDRANet Protocol

Image of flowing binary numbers similar to the Matrix

IDRANet works by transmitting short bursts of digital data onto the data bus. The format of this data stream is in accordance with the IDRANet protocol. The protocol contains a transport mechanism and payload. The former is designed to ensure the payload is securely delivered to the correct module(s), whereas the latter contains the actual information or command data to be transmitted.
IDRATEK’s overall implementation also includes an audio bus. This is a physically separate signal channel, unrelated to the digital bus, but which enables many of the important audio features unique to our automation concept.
Key technical features of the IDRANet protocol are listed below :

  • Multi-master asynchronous communications
  • Self arbitrating contention ensures message throughputs are maximised
  • Data integrity maintained through extensive multilayer error checking
  • User selectable levels of error checking (ACK, NO ACK, Retransmissions)
  • Peer to peer and broadcast message types
  • Broadcasts can target groups by zone/function (e.g. zone 3, all lights)
  • Flexible packet sizes for short control messages or larger data transport
  • Multi-rate communications for higher performance devices
  • True hot-plugging capability — no need to power down the system
  • Message priority control within the IDRANet packet
  • High number of theoretically addressable devices (>65,000 per network)

Physically the network bus exhibits some similarities to the well known CAN bus and exhibits similar physical characteristics of robustness and data rate vs. bus length constraints. It should be stressed however that the similarity is in the bus driving electronics and not the communication/signalling protocol itself.

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