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Ember and ADI Team to Enable High-Performance ZigBee Applications

November 13, 2006

Partnership targets building automation, telematics and digital home entertainment products where ADI's Blackfin processor has been widely adopted; allows Blackfin customers to quickly 'ZigBee-enable products.


BOSTON and MUNICH, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)—At the Electronica 2006 show in Munich Germany today, Ember announced that it has teamed with Analog Devices Inc. to offer customers an easy way to build wireless ZigBee-enabled products that demand feature-rich performance and capabilities, while operating on very little power.

Ember’s EM260 ZigBee networking co-processor will be combined with Analog Devices’ Blackfin 16/32-bit embedded processors to enable customers to tap into the fast-growing ZigBee market for wireless sensor and control applications, without having to worry about mastering the complexities of ZigBee networking. The dual-chip solution will allow electronic devices to support low-cost, low-power wireless applications, particularly in building automation, telematics and digital home entertainment products where Blackfin has been widely adopted.p>

During the show which runs through November 17, Ember will demonstrate a ZigBee-enabled wireless doorbell application powered by Blackfin processors. The demonstration will show a remote security camera capturing images when the doorbell is pushed. The images are then encoded and transmitted wirelessly through a ZigBee network, where they are decoded and displayed on a viewing screen.

“While ZigBee was designed for low-data-rate communications, the Blackfin processor’s ability to do heavy-duty computing and compression and decompression of all kinds of data allows you to squeeze much more performance out of the network’s frugal bandwidth,” said Robert LeFort, CEO of Ember. “The Blackfin/EM260 solution provides a platform for new kinds of more robust ZigBee wireless applications than was earlier thought possible.”

The Ember EM260 integrates an IEEE 802.15.4 radio, network processor and onboard memory to run a complete ZigBee network protocol stack. It offers Analog Devices’ customers building ZigBee-enabled products dramatic reductions in component size, cost and power consumption, while delivering twice the wireless range of competitive ZigBee radios. In addition to full support for the ZigBee standard, EmberZNet supports application profiles for home controls as well as user-defined network applications. It also features an Ember transport layer to provide more reliable wireless communication between nodes and enables distributed bindings.

“For ZigBee-enabled embedded applications, the performance and architectural attributes of Blackfin processors allow for much greater possibilities of data transmission types versus traditionally used ZigBee microcontrollers,” said Jerry McGuire, general manager, Convergent Platforms and Service Group, Analog Devices. “Working with Ember has enabled Blackfin designers to quickly and easily tap into the ZigBee network. Ember’s ZigBee solutions offer tremendous flexibility, ease-of-use, performance, and unmatched network reliability and scalability.”

The demonstration includes the Blackfin processor, ADI’s Multimedia Starter Kit, the EM260 ZigBee co-processor, and the EmberZNet networking stack. The documentation is being made available from both companies on developer community Web sites, for immediate download, such as dev.ember.com.

ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works

The ZigBee Alliance is 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 ZigBee Alliance is a rapidly growing, non-profit industry consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, OEMs, and end-users worldwide. Membership is open to all. Additional information can be found at www.zigbee.org.

About Ember Corporation

Ember enables communication among embedded microcontrollers with standards-based wireless mesh networking semiconductors and software. Ember helps its customers to automate home appliances, lower energy consumption in buildings, keep borders and infrastructure secure, and control industrial processes, just to name four of the many diverse applications being developed by Ember’s more than 100 customers. Spun out of MIT in 2001, Ember is headquartered in Boston and has its radio development center in Cambridge, England and distributors worldwide. Ember is a lead member of the ZigBee Alliance, and its platform is the National Technical Systems’ (NTS) “Golden Suite” for 802.15.4/ZigBee interoperability testing.

 


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