ZigBee Alliance selects National Technical Systems as wireless certification test center

National Technical Systems (NTS) Inc. announced that it has been selected by the ZigBee Alliance as one of only two compliance test centers with exclusive rights to test wireless products manufactured by ZigBee’s members. ZigBee members include Motorola, Honeywell, Samsung Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Philips and many other corporations worldwide.

09/04/2003


National Technical Systems (NTS) Inc. announced that it has been selected by the ZigBee Alliance as one of only two compliance test centers with exclusive rights to test wireless products manufactured by ZigBee’s members. ZigBee members include Motorola, Honeywell, Samsung Electronics, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Philips and many other corporations worldwide.

The agreement calls for NTS to perform compliance and interoperability tests on silicon chips embedded in wireless products to ensure they work properly and verify interface compatibly with all the member vendors' products. NTS is playing a key role in developing the ZigBee Interoperability and Compliance Test Verification Program, in which ZigBee vendors whose products successfully complete the NTS testing will be certified as ZigBee compliant.

Venkat Bahl, ZigBee’s vice chairman, says NTS was selected as a preferred test lab after a lengthy review of various testing houses. ''NTS was chosen because it has a lot of experience with very complex protocols and they understand the significant issues in providing interoperability,'' says Bahl. ''NTS also has many lab locations and, since ZigBee is a global alliance with members around the world, we believe NTS is very well set up for working with us.''

William McGinnis, NTS’ president and COO, adds that several of the company's global locations would be working with ZigBee. ''Our plan is to provide ZigBee wireless compliance testing in multiple locations in the U.S. as well as in Japan for the Asian market and in Germany for the European market. ''This agreement with ZigBee marks another significant milestone for NTS. For us, this is more than just offering a compliance program. It's a chance for us to work with some of the leading wireless companies in the world and not only prove our worth, but generate good will. We are excited to be a part of this program.''

The specific protocol NTS will be testing is IEEE 802.15.4 PHY and MAC layer, explains Osman Sakr, NTS’ chief technical officer and division president of the Computer Product Testing Labs. NTS has already developed a compliance test verification program for the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which consists of the physical RF test suites and MAC test suites. ZigBee’s protocol and applications stacks use the 15.4 radio. Working with the alliance, NTS will develop a conformance program to test the entire system.

—Jim Montague, news editor, Control Engineering, jmontague@reedbusiness.com





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