First announced in March 2009, the ZigBee RF4CE specification for advanced remote controls is now available for download. The spec replaces infrared with RF communication in remote controls. Thus, consumer-electronic (CE) remote controls for HDTV, home-theater equipment, set-top boxes, etc., will have greater range and longer battery life, as well as be able to operate out of line-of-sight.
RF4CE, developed by the ZigBee Alliance, enables faster, more reliable, and greater flexibility for devices to operate from longer distances. It also supports two-way communication. The spec is based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4-GHz unlicensed frequency band, enabling worldwide operation, low power consumption, and instantaneous response time.
With the RF4CE wireless platform, CE manufacturers can create secure, low-cost, easy-to-deploy consumer products and features that are interoperable with other ZigBee RF4CE-certified products. Freescale Semiconductor and Texas Instruments are two companies that offer such certified platforms.
To download the specification, go to http://www.zigbee.org/Products/TechnicalDocumentsDownload/tabid/237/Default.aspx
To get a better understanding of the specification, read “Understanding ZigBee RF4CE,” which is downloadable at: http://www.zigbee.org/imwp/download.asp?contentID=16212