Evidenced by the recent product announcements and the awards granted by the Sensors Expo & Conference, theZigBee Alliancerecently highlighted the collective progress of its members to bring new ZigBee-enabled wireless communication solutions to the market. The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to shape the wireless market by enabling a variety of reliable, cost-effective, low-power wirelessly networked monitoring, sensing and control applications in home and industrial environments.

At Sensors Expo & Conference in Detroit last month, ZigBee-ready technology took center stage as Sensicast Development was presented with the Gold award for its Sensicast Development System in the category of Communications and Networking Products. ZigBee Alliance members receiving Silver awards were: Crossbow Technology Inc. for its MICAz mote; the EM2420 radio chip from Ember Corporation; Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.'s ZigBee-ready Platform with the 2.4 MHz RF Transceiver; and the ZMD44101 Single Chip RF Transceiver from ZMD. Awards were given to products that have the greatest potential to impact the way people work, their timeliness and availability, distinctiveness, and their ability to serve a real need.

"It's exciting to see the broad range of applications based on the ZigBee specification that are being developed by ZigBee Alliance members," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "The recent success of ZigBee's first scalability test and the collective progress of the Alliance members to deliver products to the market are a true testament to the potential of the ZigBee technology," said Heile. "We believe that ZigBee will have a substantial impact on the wireless market, enabling innovative applications for home control, building automation and industrial automation."

Recent product-related announcements from ZigBee Alliance members include:

  • Airbee Wireless and Link Plus Corporation signed a strategic partnership to co-develop a series of new low-cost systems on a chip around the ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard. The resulting products will apply Link Plus AWICS(R) radios and microprocessor-based hardware and Airbee UltraLite(TM) embedded software protocols. (www.airbeewireless.com/files/files/Airbee_and_Link_Plus_0622.pdf)
  • Atmel Corporation launched a turnkey solution for ZigBee systems. The new Z-link solution consists of the AT86ZL3201 Z-Link controller, a ZigBee-ready, full function device (FFD) for 900MHz and 2.4GHz 802.15.4 frequency bands, the low power AT86RF210 Z-Link 868MHz/902MHz to 928MHz 802.15.4 radio, and plug-and-play capability for ZigBee and 802.15.4 protocol stacks. (www.atmel.com/dyn/corporate/view_detail.asp?ref=&FileName=Zigbee.html&SEC_NAME=Product)
  • Chipcon AS announced that it entered volume production of its CC2420, IEEE 802.15.4 compliant and ZigBee-ready RF Transceiver. Chipcon AS also announced that it lowered its price for large quantities of its CC2420 RF transceiver. (www.chipcon.com/index.cfm?dok_id=152&kat_id=6)
  • Crossbow Technology, Inc. announced the availability of its ZigBee-ready, IEEE 802.15.4 compliant MICAz Mote. (www.xbow.com/Products/Product_pdf_files/Wireless_pdf/6020-0060-01_A_MICAz.pdf)
  • Ember Corporation delivered its EM2420 Radio Transceiver and EmberNet Software, which are designed to comply with the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless standard and the ZigBee specification. (www.ember.com/news/press/press-051304.html)
  • Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is providing manufacturers with a single source ZigBee-ready platform and developer starter kit that contains the hardware, software and documentation to quickly implement efficient wireless designs. The 2.4 GHz platform is designed to support the Z-Stack ZigBee software developed by Figure 8 Wireless. (www.freescale.com/zigbee)
  • Helicomm recently demonstrated a prototype of its integrated wireless image SensorNet platform, which integrates Agilent's low-cost, low power CMOS image sensors with Helicomm's flexible, ZigBee-based wireless networking products at Sensors EXPO & Conference. In addition, Helicomm announced the introduction of its IPWiNS ZigBee DevKit. (http://www.zigbee.org/press/documents/2004_06_02_Helicomm_Wireless-Image-SensorNet2.pdf)
  • Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. and CompXs Inc. jointly announced an IEEE 802.15.4 compliant and ZigBee-ready single chip solution. The chip, developed by Oki Electric, includes 2.4GHz RF and combines the physical layer (PHY) and Media Access Control layer (MAC) all onto a single chip. The two companies also developed a Sensor Network Demonstration Kit. ( www.zigbee.org/press/documents/2004_05_12_CompXs_OKI_Release802_15_4.pdf)
  • MobilePro Corporation announced an agreement with Information and Communications University (ICU), a Korean institution with experience in ZigBee RF design, to jointly develop MobilePro's ZigBee RF transceiver chip. (www.mobileprocorp.com/press_release.php?id=58)
  • RAE Systems Inc. announced that it had successfully demonstrated its RAEWatch Wireless Sensor Network at three public venues, showing the robust wireless capabilities of environmental sensing. (www.raesystems.com/~raedocs/Press_Releases/06.21.04_RAEWatch_Demonstrations.pdf).