About UPnP Forum℠
Formed in October 1999, UPnP Forum is an industry initiative of more than 1028 leading companies in computing, printing and networking; consumer electronics; home appliances, automation, control and security; and mobile products.
The Forum's goals are to allow devices to connect seamlessly and to simplify network implementation in the home and corporate environments. Toward this end, UPnP Forum members work together to define and publish UPnP device control protocols built upon open, Internet-based communication standards.
A member-based Steering Committee provides Forum leadership and business direction, while several technical working committees identify and define UPnP services, device controls and protocols and usage scenarios. View the Membership List and UPnP Member Case Studies to see which companies are benefiting from UPnP Forum membership.
About UPnP Technology
The UPnP architecture offers pervasive peer-to-peer network connectivity of PCs of all form factors, intelligent appliances, and wireless devices. The UPnP architecture is a distributed, open networking architecture that leverages TCP/IP and the Web to enable seamless proximity networking in addition to control and data transfer among networked devices in the home, office, and everywhere in between.
What are the benefits of UPnP technology?
- Media and device independence. UPnP technology can run on any network technology including Wi-Fi, coax, phone line, power line, Ethernet and 1394.
- Platform independence. Vendors can use any operating system and any programming language to build UPnP products.
- Internet-based technologies. UPnP technology is built upon IP, TCP, UDP, HTTP, and XML, among others.
- UI Control. UPnP architecture enables vendor control over device user interface and interaction using the browser.
- Programmatic control. UPnP architecture enables conventional application programmatic control.
- Common base protocols. Vendors agree on base protocol sets on a per-device basis.
- Extendable. Each UPnP product can have value-added services layered on top of the basic device architecture by the individual manufacturers.
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Broad in Scope
UPnP technology targets home networks, proximity networks and networks in small businesses and commercial buildings. It enables data communication between any two devices under the command of any control device on the network. UPnP technology is independent of any particular operating system, programming language, or network technology.
Zero Configuration and Automatic Discovery
The UPnP architecture supports zero-configuration and automatic discovery whereby a device can:
- Dynamically join a network
- Obtain an IP address
- Announce its name
- Convey its capabilities upon request
- Learn about the presence and capabilities of other devices
- Leave a network smoothly and automatically without leaving any unwanted state information behind
DHCP and DNS servers are optional and are used only if they are available on the network.
Standardized Device Control Protocols
Like the creation of Internet standards, the UPnP initiative involves a multi-vendor collaboration for establishing standard Device Control Protocols (DCPs). Similar to Internet-based communication, these are based on protocols that are:
- Expressed in XML
- Communicated via HTTP
For more information on UPnP technology visit the UPnP Specifications page.
UPnP technology is enabling a world in which music and other digital entertainment content is accessible from various devices in the home without regard for where the media is stored. Using UPnP devices the whole family can share in the fun together whether it's:
- Playing Internet-based computer games
- Viewing your best family photos via the TV
- Watching home videos
- Listening to favorite tunes throughout the house
Computing technology is now inexpensive enough that organizations can build intelligence into the design of many common electronic devices in use today. Low cost, reliable networking, coupled with a new class of small computing devices, is creating new product opportunities and functionality based mainly on natural and transparent connectivity among these devices.
Connectivity is now being used to:
- Remotely control devices
- Move digital data in the form of audio, video and still images between devices
- Share information among devices and with the World Wide Web