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Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Zigbee and RF4CE Agree On Global Open Standard For RF Remote Controls

The ZigBee Alliance and the RF4CE Consortium, founded by Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sony, have reached an agreement to deliver a standardized specification for radio frequency-based (RF) remote controls.

RF remotes are faster, more reliable and provide more freedom to operate devices from greater distances removing the line-of-sight barrier of today's infrared (IR) remotes. With this agreement, effective today, the ZigBee Alliance will move into the consumer products arena as part of its long-term integration and growth plans.

The Alliance will incorporate version 1.0 of the RF4CE specification into its suite of global sensor and control network solutions. This ZigBee RF4CE specification will first be made available to ZigBee members this quarter. It creates an immediate, low-cost solution for control of products and a variety of public application profiles. The ZigBee RF4CE specification is designed for a wide range of products, including home entertainment devices, garage door openers, keyless entry systems and many more. In any application, it enables advanced features such as non line-of-sight operation and bi-directional communications.

The first public profile specification enables two-way interaction and control of home entertainment equipment. Products like HDTV, home theater equipment, set-top boxes and other audio equipment will also benefit from the functionality offered by ZigBee.

The agreement will result in the establishment of a new Special Interest Group under the ZigBee Alliance, and it will be a part of the open standardization at the ZigBee Alliance.

The ZigBee RF4CE specification is based on IEEE 802.15.4. MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequency band and enables worldwide operation, low power consumption and instantaneous response time. It allows omni-directional two-way wireless communication, frequency agility for enhanced co-existence with other 2.4GHz wireless technologies, simple security set-up and configuration.

During the next quarter, the Alliance will develop a test program consistent with existing policies for specifications and public application profiles. Once complete, products using a public application profile based on the ZigBee RF4CE specification can be submitted to an authorized test house for certification.

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