ZigBee wireless promotion grows: Siemens joins board


San Ramon, CAZigBee Alliance adds Siemens to its list of “promoter level” supporters. The non-profit association promoting an open standard for wireless control devices made the announcement last week. Siemens joins Honeywell, Mitsubishi Electric, Motorola, Freescale Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments, among others on the ZigBee board of directors. Siemens says it plans to implement the technology in sensors used in discrete manufacturing and process automation in conjunction with existing industrial communications networks, such as Profibus and Profinet.

“Adding Siemens to the ZigBee Alliance further strengthens ZigBee’s strong hold in the development of wireless mesh networking,” noted Marcus Torchia, senior analyst, wireless/mobile enterprise solutions of Yankee Group , an information technology research and analysis firm. “Adding Siemens to the roster of promoter companies demonstrates commitment from the industry and continued support and development for ZigBee applications.”

The Alliance said it has observed “tremendous momentum” in the ZigBee compliant platform supply ramp-up leading to consumer product availability in 2006, pointing out that members have made significant headway in shipping millions of radios in the last year. The variety of manufacturers in the Alliance is said to ensure a “solid and diverse supply of components designed to seamlessly work together.”

Siemens association with ZigBee comes on the heels of other major ZigBee-related moves. In January, Texas Instruments completed its acquisition of Chipcon; and STMicroelectronics and Ember agreed to work together on ZigBee solutions. ZigBee now includes more than 200 members in 26 countries. The standards-based technology addresses the needs of low-cost, low-power, wireless sensor networks for remote monitoring, home control, and building automation network applications in industrial and consumer markets. It’s based on Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.4 and uses direct-sequence, spread-spectrum technology.

For more about wireless from Control Engineering , read “ Wireless: Simple, Safe, Secure, Successful ” and watch for an upcoming May 2006 North American edition cover article on wireless sensing.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, jkatzel@reedbusiness.com

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