Certifications in progress

2022-09-08 16:00:00 +0200 CEST

We are currently working on successfully completing the necessary EMC-tests and certifications for our hardware.
The first full test run has shown that we pass most standards without any problems. However, there are still some minor issues that can be resolved through hardware modifications. The next test run is scheduled for September and we are confident that we will complete it successfully.

In development the focus in the last months was to finish the user interface. In the meantime, the addons for openHAB are also largely completed, as well as our RESTful APIs.

The user interface for system management is now equipped with a wide range of functions:

  • User accounts, region and security settings are conveniently set during initial setup
  • Network control
    • Extensive configuration of Ethernet modules
    • Automatic search and setup of WLAN networks
    • Easy setup of WLAN modules as access points
  • Preconfigured apps (like openHAB, databases etc…) can be installed, removed and controlled (start/stop) with one click
  • Download and installation of system updates
    Preview (Work in Progress)
    Preview (Work in Progress)

Apart from the UI changes, a few things have also changed.
WLAN modules are now Plug&Play capable and are automatically started in access point mode by default.
This allows direct connection and setup via a default password.
This also applies to KNX modules, which are automatically assigned their own network segments.

These changes are not yet on Github because we haven’t found the time to do it yet.
The plan is to do this by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, there is only limited good news regarding the availability of semiconductor components.
Although some orders have been delivered in the meantime, there are still some parts missing that are essential for the sales launch.
However, we will start production after completion of the certification and will place the missing parts in a second production run.


Richard Schleich

Prototype phase completed

2022-01-31 16:00:00 +0200 +0200

As previously reported, we have successfully completed and tested the switch to a pure Debian 11 based ARMv8 (arm64, aarch64) operating system.
Compared to the Raspberry Pi OS, which relies on an outdated ARMv6 build for compatibility reasons, the performance has increased by 30% on average.

Furthermore, we can now use special CPU functions like ARM NEON SIMD, which have great performance advantages especially when processing streams (compression, encryption). Hardware virtualization support is now also possible.
By the way, we could not determine a higher RAM consumption, as often assumed.
The ARMv8 update for the Github projects has not been released yet, but will follow soon.

In the process of the operating system change we have also changed the basic file system to BTRFS.
This change enables full live snapshot support, this means that you can save, backup and reset the state of the current system at any time.

Another interesting BTRFS feature we enabled is transparent LZO compression.
Since the I/O controller of the Raspberry Pi is comparatively slow compared to the CPU, using it increases the sequential R/W speed by up to 400% and the random R/W by up to 200%. The prerequisite for this is that the data can be compressed, already compressed data and particularly small files are automatically optimized.

Furthermore we have started to adapt and finalize our openHAB addons to the latest openHAB 3.2 release.
These will be published as soon as we have finalized our RESTful APIs to avoid unnecessary rework.

Another positive news we can give regarding our prototypes, with the receipt and verification of the last mainboard revision, the hardware development phase is considered complete.
From now on only minor production relevant corrections are planned and of course future module extensions.
As soon as the pre-series production is completed, there will be nothing standing in the way of a beta.

One of the next steps is the testing of the platform according to the CE/FCC standards. Since the radio components are already certified and we have developed according to EMC guidelines from the beginning, we hope for a smooth process.

Last there is a rather bad news regarding the expected availability of the products.
Like all manufacturers in the electronics industry, we are struggling with major problems in component availability, especially as a small manufacturer, the prices, which have increased tenfold in some cases, are unmanageable.
Unfortunately, the situation has become even worse since last year and series production (the pre-series has already been completed) will probably not be possible until the second half of the year.

First software releases and the next steps

2021-11-09 16:00:00 +0200 +0200

We are currently working hard to advance the software for the delivery of our products.
In the last days we have published the source code for the different projects of our
Serial Device Bus Protocol (SDBP) driver stack on Github (under (L)GPL/v2/v3).
The documentation for the Module RESTful API is also published.

This represents only a small but important part of the over 100 projects (git repos) that are included in the NEXUS UNITY OS.

Currently, the focus is on completing the NUOS migration to Debian 11 “Bullseye” and simultaneously switching to a true ARMv8 (64-bit) system.

The performance gain over the Raspian/Raspberry Pi OS, which still relies on ARMv6,
is 30-50% on average according to our benchmarks, and even 60-300% in the Java benchmarks.

This allows us to fully utilize the hardware of the Raspberry Pi CM3+ and provide an excellent user experience.
More information about this will be found in a following article.

The next step is the final integration and customization of the newest openHAB release for our platform.

Unfortunately, like all other hardware manufacturers, we are currently struggling with component delivery issues.
This delays the provision of final prototypes for beta testing.

Welcome to our website!

2021-08-01 23:55:45 +0200 CEST

We are proud to announce the release of our project website for the NEXUS UNITY Smart Home platform.

The website currently offers a lot of information, but is still under construction.