Wireless Applications

LS Research and Ember Launch Rate$aver

January 12, 2009

The ZigBee Smart Energy–certified and FCC/IC-approved in-home display monitors energy usage and serves as a wireless communications portal between utility companies and their customers.


BOSTON -- LS Research, a leading product development company specializing in RF design, has teamed with Ember Corp., a leader in ZigBee technology, to develop a ZigBee-certified energy monitor—Rate$aver—enabling homeowners and utilities to collaborate on conserving energy and reducing costs.

LS Research's Rate$aver is a ZigBee Smart Energy-certified and FCC/IC-approved in-home-display (IHD) energy usage rate monitor based on Ember's ZigBee technology. The device serves as a wireless communications portal between utility companies and their customers. It provides reliable wireless communication of consumption data from the utility meter into the home. With it, homeowners can now make more informed decisions about their energy usage, promoting energy conservation and helping electric utilities to reduce peak-load demand.

Rate$aver is the first battery-powered, wireless graphical display using the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile, which supports pricing, security, simple metering, and messaging clusters and is interoperable with other ZigBee Smart Energy–certified products, including electric smart meters. Rate$aver runs for up to two years on two AA batteries and uses a unique display technology that allows the display to remain visible even after the radio and the power are turned off.

"The Rate$aver plays an important role in helping consumers manage energy use," said Benno Ritter, Vice President of Marketing for the ZigBee Alliance. "ZigBee Smart Energy makes connecting in-home displays to a ZigBee home-area network easy and affordable. We congratulate LS Research on successfully completing our rigorous ZigBee Smart Energy product certification process."

LS Research was able to take advantage of Ember's Smart Energy Suite to bring the Rate$aver to market quickly. Ember's Smart Energy Suite provides a fully integrated hardware and software platform, including:

  • EM250 ZigBee system-on-chip
  • EmberZNet PRO networking software
  • Smart Energy–certified application profile
  • Ember AppBuilder, a development tool for ZigBee Smart Energy
  • Certicom elliptic curve cryptography security software for ZigBee Smart Energy

The Rate$aver provides an advanced radio architecture and a 100 mW power amplifier that eliminates the need for repeater devices in most homes. Rate$aver also uses Ember's bootloader capability, enabling easy implementation of software updates.

"With our long-standing experience in wireless communications, we wanted to develop the Rate$aver on ZigBee Smart Energy because of ZigBee's leadership position in the market," said Peter Mayhew, Director of Western Sales for LS Research. "LS Research is a leader in the development and deployment of ZigBee-enabled products for the price-sensitive consumer market. We partnered with Ember for their leadership in ZigBee and their reliable and proven ZigBee technology. The decision to add Rate$aver to our existing portfolio of products and services was driven by customer demand for ZigBee Smart Energy–based IHDs."

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. Using the EM250 SoC, users can create functionally rich, high-performance ZigBee applications without the need for other resources. 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."

"Ember is committed to providing solutions that enable lower costs, design simplicity, and rapid time to market," said Dennis Natale, Ember Vice President of Sales. "Rate$aver, with its simplicity and ease of use, is ideal for all consumers to manage energy in their homes more efficiently and also to communicate with utilities for energy pricing."

Rate$aver was on display in the Ember booth, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan 8–11. Product and pricing information are available by contacting LS Research.

About ZigBee
ZigBee is the global wireless language connecting dramatically different devices to work together and enhance everyday life. The ZigBee Alliance is a nonprofit association of more than 300 member companies, driving development of ZigBee wireless technology. The alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in energy, home, commercial, and industrial areas.

About LS Research, LLC
LS Research is the premier wireless product development company specializing in RF design, software development, CAD, prototype development, and FCC/IC/CE certification services. LS Research has also developed a line of RF FCC/IC–certified modules to help customers get to market faster with little to no engineering cost. LS Research is at the forefront of the latest wireless technologies, including LPW, ZigBee, Wireless USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MURS, and UWB. We design wireless products to help our clients take their business to the next level through technical innovation. LS Research has a long history of helping both Fortune 500 companies and startups, with new product development.

At the heart of LS Research's innovative talent is the core RF engineering group, with more than 28 years of proven wireless product development experience. In addition, LS Research is the only product development firm with turnkey design service and an on-site FCC/IC/CE accredited test facility for all your EMC testing needs.

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.

Ember, Ember Enabled, EmberZNet, InSight and the Ember logo are trademarks of Ember Corporation. ZigBee is a trademark of the ZigBee Alliance. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies.


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