Wireless Systems Design

Networking Specification Hits Global Milestone

Recently, the ZigBee Alliance completed the ratification of its maiden ZigBee specification. That ratification was the culmination of two years of worldwide development and interoperability testing. Thanks to its completion, it should be easier to develop and deploy power-efficient and cost-effective wireless monitoring, control, and sensing networks. For the alliance-member companies with ZigBee-ready technology, the ratification allows them to quickly enhance their products and begin testing to obtain ZigBee-compliant certification. All alliance members have complete and exclusive access to the final specification. To verify that their products are ZigBee-compliant, they will participate in ongoing interoperability testing.

With the specification's debut, ZigBee technology is positioned to make a major splash in a myriad of uses ranging from building-automation to industrial and residential applications. Using low-power RF modules, manufacturers will be able to easily include ZigBee-compliant wireless-networking capabilities in their products. The availability of standards-based hardware and software will reduce the cost and complexity of integrating embedded RF into designs. To allow OEMs and end users to create application-layer solutions, ZigBee Alliance members will provide software toolkits that include profile templates. The ZigBee specification is built atop the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which was ratified in May of 2003.

The ZigBee Alliance will continue to validate its specification through expanded interoperability and scalability tests as well as future enhancements. The alliance will actively promote the use of ZigBee-enabled technology in real-world applications to foster new, creative applications for the market. It also will strive to facilitate the broad market adoption of the ZigBee standard around the world. To learn more about ZigBee, see a full list of members, or join the alliance, visit www.zigbee.org.

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