ZigBee Unveils Comprehensive New Features



    
    More Interoperable Choices Creates ZigBee Networks with Numerous Strengths
    

    SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 2 /CNW/ -- The ZigBee(R) Alliance, a global
ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in utility,
commercial building and consumer applications, today announced it has approved
comprehensive new features for the ZigBee specification giving more choices to
manufacturers as they design ZigBee products.  These new features
significantly expand the capabilities of ZigBee, further strengthening its
leadership position as the global standard for wirelessly connecting
dramatically different devices into a single, easy to install and use network.
    "The market for wireless sensor networking technology is growing
significantly, enabled by a number of factors, one of which is the continuing
development of standards such as ZigBee," said Sam Lucero, senior analyst with
ABI Research.  "ZigBee addresses the largest cross-section of WSN market
segments, and the new features announced today will further enhance ZigBee's
suitability for use in the largest commercial WSN deployments."
    The ZigBee specification offers all the wide-ranging features released in
2006, and adds new features, giving manufacturers greater flexibility when
designing innovative ZigBee products.  The original set of features published
in 2006 is now known as the ZigBee Feature Set.  An expanded set of features
known as ZigBee PRO maximizes all the capabilities of ZigBee and facilitates
ease-of-use and advanced support for larger networks.  These features expand
product development options available to manufacturers. The newly released
Feature Sets are designed to interoperate with each other, ensuring long-term
use and stability.  Highlights of the expanded ZigBee PRO Feature Set include:

    
    -- Network Scalability -- Improved support for larger networks offering
       more management, flexibility, performance choices
    -- Fragmentation -- New ability to divide longer messages and enable
       interaction with other protocols and systems
    -- Frequency Agility -- Networks dynamically change channels should
       interference occur
    -- Automated Device Address Management -- Optimized for large networks
       with added network management and configuration tools
    -- Group Addressing -- Offers additional traffic optimization needed for
       large networks
    -- Wireless Commissioning -- Enhanced with secure wireless commissioning
       capabilities
    -- Centralized Data Collection -- Tuned specifically to optimize
       information flow in large networks
    
    "The new features of ZigBee will dramatically expand its capabilities and
lead to new meaningful products from companies around the world," said Eddy
Odjik, vice president of standardization at Philips.  "Philips is a supporter
of ZigBee and has played a role in developing ZigBee into a unique, versatile
wireless technology that will simplify many people's lives in the coming
years."
    In addition to its original capabilities, the ZigBee Feature Set also
gains optional use of the Frequency Agility and Fragmentation features
described above.  A full list of capabilities for both Feature Sets along with
a side-by-side comparison can be found
http://zigbee.org/imwp/download.asp?ContentID=11900.  Access to the updated
ZigBee specification is available immediately for all members. Free public
availability of the new features is scheduled for early 2008.
    "ZigBee now gives unparalleled choices for companies looking for the
right low-power, low-cost wireless networking standard," said Bob Heile,
chairman of the ZigBee Alliance.  "These new features make ZigBee stronger and
play a key role in expanding ZigBee's value as a key part of innovative AMI
programs for utility companies around the world.  No other technology can
wirelessly connect an exterior utility meter to an interior home automation
network or building control networks as efficiently and effectively as
ZigBee."
    With the addition of these additional features to the ZigBee
specification, the Alliance is shifting its attention to development efforts
facilitating the deployment of the technology for energy management and
efficiency, specifically in areas like public application profiles for advance
metering infrastructure (AMI).  Public application profiles enable end-to-end,
multi-vendor interoperable solutions in markets such as AMI, home automation,
commercial building automation and telecommunications.
    ZigBee uses self-organizing and self-healing mesh networking to enable
robust communications over the globally available 2.4 GHz frequency, with
868/915 MHz technology available in select countries.  ZigBee networks offer
superb interference immunity and capabilities to host thousands of devices.
With ultra low-power requirements, ZigBee devices run on regular batteries for
years, eliminating the need for wiring to a power source and offering
unparalleled maintenance convenience and installation flexibility.
    The ZigBee Alliance has multi-market and global appeal along with
steadily growing membership. Today, more than 225 companies from 28 countries
spanning six continents are Alliance members.  ZigBee is a volunteer driven
Alliance relying upon the support of its members to develop the standard and
public profiles.  Manufacturers now represent 50 percent of the membership, up
from 37 percent in 2006.  Organizations seeking immediate access to the
enhanced ZigBee standard, or assistance with developing products based on
ZigBee can join the Alliance by visiting http://www.zigbee.org/en/join.
    
    ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works
    
    The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to
enable reliable, cost effective, low-power, wirelessly networked, monitoring
and control products based on an open global standard.  The ZigBee Alliance
membership comprises technology providers and manufacturers worldwide.
Membership is open to all.  Additional information can be found at
http://www.zigbee.org.




For further information:

For further information: Kevin Schader of ZigBee Alliance, 
+1-925-275-6672, kschader@inventures.com; or Earlene Tang of GolinHarris, 
+1-714-662-5115, etang@golinharris.com, for ZigBee Alliance Web Site:
http://www.zigbee.org

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ZIGBEE ALLIANCE

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