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In this work, the architecture and functionality of intelligent, reduced-complexity devices used in appliances control for networking applications arc, presented. These devices exploit the Ethernet infrastructure in order to offer network-based control functionality. The devices implement a hard-wired version of the IP-based protocol stack and use an embedded soft processor core for executing the functions of a control-oriented application layer. The protocol stack used is based on a limited functionality MAC layer, while packet filtering is performed at the IP layer. Simulation results prove the exceptional characteristics of the proposed solution in terms of response time under various traffic conditions.