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ZigBee and RF4CE Set New Course for Consumer Electronic Remote Controls

March 3, 2009

Agreement results in one global open standard for RF remote control as a superior alternative to infrared control

SAN RAMON, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ – The ZigBee Alliance and the RF4CE Consortium, founded by Panasonic Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Sony Corporation, 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 broad 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, easy-to-implement 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 transforms the consumer experience, enabling advanced features such as non line-of-sight operation and bi-directional communications.

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

“ZigBee is now on the fast track to enter millions more homes around the world because no other technology will be able to deliver what ZigBee can do in this space,” said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “We want the world to be RF and we want the world to use ZigBee. This agreement provides us with an evolutionary path to ZigBee everywhere. The Alliance welcomes the members of RF4CE and expects many great things to come from this powerful combination.”

“The RF4CE Consortium and the ZigBee Alliance are both based on IEEE 802.15.4 and aligning the two groups was a logical decision,” said Bas Driesen, chairperson of the RF4CE Consortium and technology manager at Royal Philips Electronics. “We are extremely pleased to see the completed ZigBee RF4CE specification roll-out to consumer electronics manufacturers because it allows them to begin developing exciting new features that will simplify and enrich how consumers interact with home entertainment equipment.”

“Sony has already commercialized RF remote control based on IEEE 802.15.4 standard for LCD TVs. Evolving this proven technology to an industry standard for remote control systems, we believe that RF4CE and ZigBee Alliance will create brand new value for the electronics industry,” said Naoya Suzuki, vice-chair of the RF4CE Consortium and general manager at Sony Corporation.

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. Non RF4CE members and non ZigBee members are welcome to join the ZigBee Alliance and participate in the newly formed Special Interest Group.

ZigBee RF4CE: More flexibility and control

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 and reliable 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.

RF4CE Consortium

RF4CE Consortium was founded by Panasonic Corporation, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Sony Corporation on June 12, 2008, to address increased demand for advanced functionality not currently available through infrared or other proprietary wireless technologies.

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 121,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 26 billion in 2008, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$105 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of two main business units: Digital Media & Communications and Device Solutions. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $88 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net

ZigBee: Control your world

ZigBee is the global wireless language connecting dramatically different devices to work together and enhance everyday life. The ZigBee Alliance is a non-profit association of more than 300 member companies driving development of ZigBee wireless technology. The Alliance promotes world-wide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer electronics, energy, home, commercial and industrial areas. For more information, visit: www.zigbee.org.

SOURCE ZigBee Alliance


Source: newswire



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