Wireless Applications

CalAmp Embeds Ember ZigBee Tech in WiMetry Platform

October 30, 2008

The WiMetry IP-based wireless communications platform enables wireless meter reading and other Smart Grid applications.


BOSTON, MA -- Ember Corp., a leader in ZigBee technology, announced that it has teamed with CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ:CAMP), a leading provider of wireless products, services and solutions, to enable ZigBee and IP-based wireless networks to work together for automated meter reading, peak energy demand response and other Smart Grid applications.

CalAmp has integrated Ember's EM250 ZigBee System-on-Chip (SoC) and EmberZNet PRO ZigBee networking software into its new WiMetry IP-based wireless communications platform. WiMetry enables Smart Grid functions such as Demand Response, Peak Demand Reduction and other Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) applications. CalAmp's Ember-enabled WiMetry communication devices provide a two-way communication pathway to ZigBee enabled smart meters or In Home Devices (IHD) for energy load control, demand response, energy consumption or tariff display.

CalAmp's WiMetry enables utilities to send and receive digital information concerning electricity use, costs, prices, time of use, nature of use or other information relevant to device, grid or utility operations and helps provide homeowners with the means to make more informed decisions about their energy usage, promoting energy conservation and allowing electric utilities to reduce peak load demand.

Studies suggest that demand response programs may help reduce peak electricity demand by five percent, resulting in savings of more than $3 billion in annual cost for energy generation, transportation and distribution. Also, legislative efforts now promote investments in Smart Grid infrastructure with government grants, matching funds and tax incentives.

"Our goal was to provide real-time, two-way wireless communications to manage the sensing, collecting and monitoring of data from all portions of a utility's electric distribution grid," said Mark Christensen, Vice President and General Manager of CalAmp's Industrial Monitoring and Controls unit. "ZigBee wireless connectivity to both electric meters and ZigBee enabled IHDs is a critical element for Smart Grid applications and part of our WiMetry platform. We teamed with Ember because their ZigBee platform is reliable, highly integrated, easy to work with and is already used inside many of those devices that our WiMetry interfaces with, highlighting interoperability."

Ember's EM250, the industry's first ZigBee SoC integrates an IEEE 802.15.4 radio, a 16-bit microprocessor, flash, RAM and peripherals delivering excellent performance. The EM250 SoC along with the EmberZNet PRO networking stack is a ZigBee "Golden Unit" platform and is the industry's only true SoC platform supporting the ZigBee PRO Feature Set. It also supports the new "ZigBee Smart Energy" profile which is targeted specifically at the smart energy market.

"The need for smart energy solutions is becoming more and more urgent," said Bob Gohn, Ember's vice president of marketing. "CalAmp's WiMetry platform allows utility customers to implement efficient Smart Grid applications quickly, helping them respond to changes in their industry and our economy."

About Ember
Ember Corp. develops ZigBee wireless networking technology that enables companies involved in energy technologies—enertech—to help make buildings and homes smarter, consume less energy, operate more efficiently, and keep people comfortable and safe. Ember's low-power wireless technology can be embedded into a wide variety of devices to be part of a self-organizing mesh network. Ember is headquartered in Boston and has its radio development center in Cambridge, England, and distributors worldwide. The company is a promoter and Board member of the ZigBee Alliance and its platform is the "Golden Suite" for 802.15.4/ZigBee interoperability testing.

About CalAmp
CalAmp provides wireless communications solutions that enable anytime/anywhere access to critical data and content. The Company serves customers in the public safety, industrial monitoring and controls, mobile resource management, public utilities and direct broadcast satellite markets. The Company's products are marketed under the CalAmp, Dataradio, SmartLink, Aercept, LandCell and Omega trade names.

About the ZigBee Alliance
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 280 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 energy, home, commercial and industrial areas.


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