LonWorks Glossary

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Neuron ID[edit]

It is a address that is hardware dependent and changes according to the hardware. The network management tool must have the Neuron ID for commissioning a device. The Neuron ID does not contain any information about the device address. A unique 48 bit Neuron ID associated with each LonWorks device results in approximately 300 trillion different combinations when it gets burnt into the Neuron chip during the manufacturing process. When a device is pinned, the Neuron ID is broadcasted through the network so that a logical address (Subnet/Node ID) can be assigned.

Subnet/Node ID[edit]

Subnet is a logical collection that consists of up to 127 devices within a domain and all devices in a subnet must be on the same segment. With one subnet, the LNS Network Interface is assigned a Subnet/Node ID of 1/127, whereas all other device’s Subnet/Node IDs begin with an address of 1/1 and increase sequentially to 1/2, 1/3, etc. These values are automatically assigned by the network management tool. Up to 255 subnets can be defined within a single domain. Subnets cannot cross non-permanent type routers. The address is hardware independent i.e. whenever a device gets replaced; the new device uses the same Subnet/Node ID in spite of new one. The node ID identifies a device on a subnet. It is actually a logical address assigned to a device after it has been commissioned. The subnet segment of the ID is employed to route packets. Packets will be available to other channels/subnets only according to the requirement. The other channels include: the source channel, the destination channel and all channels between the source and destination. A device’s Neuron ID and Subnet/Node ID both can be found in the Identifiers tab of the device’s properties.

LNS (LonWorks Network Services)[edit]

LNS which is basically a client-server operating system developed by Echelon Corporation provides directory, installation, management, monitoring, and control services required for open LonWorks networks. It is a platform that permits multiple LNS applications to interoperate on the same personal computer (PC) or on multiple PCs on the same network. A single LNS Server can support many interoperating client applications. The LNS Server has the capability to work as a standalone application on a PC attached to the network, or on the same PC as the Network Management tool. Besides remote clients i.e. Clients on other PCs can log into the LNS Server to access the shared LNS database. API products cannot be commissioned using LNS tool and vice versa because API networks function as a peer-to-peer network and employ a different database structure than client-server model. Network Management tools using the client-server capabilities of LNS allow multiple Network Management tools running on different PCs to simultaneously access the same LNS Server. This capability allows several users to work at the same time on a single network. An application that uses the services of the LNS Server is called LNS client and the host application that uses an NSI as its network interface is called an LNS host application. This host application utilizes the services, events, and properties provided by an NSS to perform network installation, configuration, maintenance, repair, monitoring, and control. It can also implement its own application-specific services, events, and properties and, through the LNS architecture, make these available to other LNS host applications.


It is a logical collection of devices on one or more channels and only devices configured in the same domain can communicate with each other. The top level of the LonTalk addressing hierarchy of domain is known as Domain ID. The domain ID can be 0, 1, 3, or 6 bytes long. The zero length domain cannot be used as the system's domain as it is reserved for the use of the LNS architecture only.

Device Interface File (XIF File)[edit]

It is a file produced by the LonBuilder Developer's Workbench or the NodeBuilder tool which documents a device's external interface (XIF). When the utility converts the text version of the external interface file (having extension XIF) in to binary file (having extension of XFB), the host application imports external interface file definitions into the NSS using a set of services. The XIF file should never be modified manually. It can only be analyzed using an application like Notepad. An XIF file was originally generated from the application and matches the XIF within the device, hence altering the XIF will result in an erratic behavior. An XIF file informs network-management tools how to communicate and recognize a device. It incorporates Program ID, NVs, CPs, functional blocks, etc. XIF files of Version 4 or later contains default configuration properties.

Sources of XIF file[edit]

  • It can be obtained from the device manufacturer’s website,
  • It is included with the shipped product,
  • It can be uploaded from the device (though without all of the file content)
  • It can be obtained from the LonMark site for each certified and published device.


It is a free topology twisted pair LonWorks channel type with a bit rate of 78 kbps.

Neuron Chip[edit]

It is a family of VLSI components which implements the LonTalk protocol. Manufactured by various vendors a neuron chip can handle I/O devices and accomplish user-written application code. Alternatively, it can be used to create a network interface to a host processor. Firmware required to operate a Neuron Chip and implement the LonTalk protocol is known as Neuron chip firmware. This firmware is contained in the VERxxx subdirectories of the LonWorks IMAGES directory (default C:\LONWORKS\IMAGES) in files with the name S*.NX*. A custom system image including the Neuron Chip firmware with extensions for the LTM-10 hardware is included in the LTMSYS.NX file in the VER122 subdirectory of the IMAGES directory. This file does not include the MIP image included in the LTM-10 module.


It is a technology platform which comprises of the tools, modules, and ICs needed to build and install intelligent devices in control networks. Each LonWorks device incorporates local processing and input/output (I/O) hardware to process input data from sensors, execute a control task, and control actuators. Moreover each device has got the capability to communicate with every other device via the LonTalk protocol in firmware.


It is a software package used for designing, installing, operating, and maintaining multi-vendor, open, interoperable LonWorks networks. This integration tool combines powerful client-server architecture with an easy-to-use Microsoft Visio user interface. It is sophisticated enough to design and commission a distributed control network, yet economical enough to be employed as an operations and maintenance tool. The LonMaker tool provides ample support for LonMark devices, i.e. LON Internet Servers, and other LonWorks devices. Major LonMark features include standard functional profiles, configuration properties, resource files, network variable aliases, dynamic network variables, and changeable types.


It is a LonWorks utility which is used to explore LonWorks networks and devices without needing LonMaker. For maintaining LON modules in LON nets via this small DOS based tool named NodeUtil, we just need a device such as an Echelon U10/U20 USB Network Interface. With the help of NodeUtil we can discover devices and learn about the Domains, SubNets & NodeID’s. It also allows us to upload the XIF file from specific nodes.Also LON adapters like PCLTA or SLTA are needed to use Nodeutil. 


Lonmark International

Chipkin Automation Systems