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Motorola First to Demonstrate ZigBee 2.4 GHz Wireless Networking Technology
Posted: 28-May-2003 [Source: Motorola]

[Recently approved IEEE 802.15.4 standard for ZigBee Applications to be showcased at the Alliance Open House in Germany.]

Austin, TX -- Motorola Inc. is now delivering hardware and software samples to several development partners in support of the draft IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.15.4 Standard being driven by the ZigBee Alliance -- 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 hardware and software will be demonstrated at the upcoming ZigBee Alliance European Open House on June 3 in Berlin, Germany. Engineering samples of the comprehensive, Standard-compliant Motorola solution are expected to be available in November.

The IEEE 802.15.4 Standard fills a void in the wireless networking spectrum by empowering designers to create products with low cost, very low power and highly flexible wireless networking capabilities. Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) has Promoter status within the ZigBee Alliance and Driving Member status in the IEEE 802.15.4 Task Group.

Thousands of applications for products incorporating ZigBee technology will soon exist in both the enterprise and home markets. ZigBee-enabled products are engineered to allow businesses to automate, control, and wirelessly connect their enterprise systems. This technology provides an opportunity for a high return on investment for the business user by enabling energy management, predictive maintenance, logistics management, and automation and control, all at a significantly lower cost than wired networks.

Consumers should benefit from ZigBee technology through the interoperability of everyday devices, for the ultimate in wireless freedom, ease of use, and a high level of security. ZigBee-enabled products in the home are expected to provide consumers with simplified ways of interfacing with household appliances, toys and game stations, PCs and peripherals -- as well as home systems for security, lighting, and air conditioning.

"The ZigBee protocol addresses the needs of businesses and consumers requiring a low power, highly configurable network standard," said Behrooz Abdi, vice president and general manager of Motorola's Radio Products Division. "Motorola sees an enormous potential for this technology, and has been developing the silicon, hardware and software to help fuel the market for 802.15.4. We are excited and eager to fulfill the vision of a networked future."

The IEEE 802.15.4 Standard details the Physical Layer (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) specifications, and offers the building blocks for different types of networking known as "star, mesh, and cluster tree." Network routing schemes are designed to ensure power conservation, and low latency through guaranteed time slots. Communication redundancy is a unique feature of the ZigBee network layer, eliminating "single point of failure" in mesh networks. Key features of the PHY include energy and link-quality detection, and clear channel assessment for improved coexistence with other wireless networks. The MAC specifies automatic packet acknowledgement, provides options for transmission in a range of pre-selected time intervals, and supports 128-bit AES security. The MAC and ZigBee application software is implemented in code-efficient RAM/ROM devices.

Motorola's comprehensive MAC/PHY 802.15.4 solution is designed to support the global 2.4 GHz band at data rates of up to 250 kbps over air. The PHY is enabled with a (radio frequency) RF transceiver data modem. Motorola designers have incorporated a number of features to allow flexibility for engineers incorporating ZigBee into their products. An on-chip power management circuit can manage power sources from 2.0 to 3.6V. The transceiver integrates a power amplifier, a low noise amplifier (LNA) with filtering, and is engineered to support multiple power-down states. A standard serial peripheral interface can connect with the host controller to send and receive digitized data packets. MAC code is offered for use with an extensive family of Motorola microcontrollers. A customer can often add 802.15.4 wireless networking to existing applications simply by adding the RF modem and porting the MAC code to embedded controllers within their system.

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