September 04, 2007
| by Rachel Cericola
Control4 is coming out with its most powerful home-control processor by far. The company’s new HC-1000 “is an extremely fast processor that will rival anything in the market in terms of overall system performance,” claims CEO Will West. “In fact, it exceeds anything we know in the market in terms of raw processing power… Processors in most of the embedded systems are typically less than 300MHz. We’re into the gigahertz range.”
The product is less of a controller, and more of a supplement to Control4’s suite of control systems and interfaces. There is no ZigBee wireless radio built in. The only connectors are a USB port and an Ethernet port. “Rather than a multitasking box, it is pure hard core,” says West. “It runs Director [automation software] and that’s it. It allows the rest of the house to do what it needs to do.”
The product also includes on-board storage—250GB in the first version, but expanding quickly after that. Your installer can add more hard drives to increase capacity, as they can with all of Control4’s controllers and media servers.
West envisions the unit sitting in a rack, powering a large Control4 system. At around $3,000 retail, The HC-1000 is overkill for homes that only have a few dozen Control4 nodes. “It only becomes relevant once you get into larger homes with more devices,” West says.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.