Wireless Applications

NEC and Partners Introduce ZigBee Development Kits

November 7, 2006

Kits designed to help OEMs and system developers implement wireless mesh networks for industrial and residential building management systems, lighting controls, automated meters, sensors, and security.


TOKYO and HSINCHU, Taiwan, /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- NEC Electronics Corp., Skyley Networks Inc., and Uniband Electronic Corporation ("UBEC") yesterday introduced development kits, including both software and hardware, to enable OEMs and system developers to quickly and easily develop low power, wireless peer-to-peer mesh networks ideal for the rapidly growing field of industrial and residential building management systems, lighting controls, automated meters, sensors, and security systems. The kits will be certified for compliance with the Enhanced ZigBee Standard, to be unveiled by the ZigBee Alliance early next year.

The Software Development Kit (SDK), co-developed by NEC Electronics and Skyley Networks, features an easy to use graphical user interface (GUI), which promises effortless network development without the need for C programming, and includes a network sniffer, network viewer, node setting tool, and node monitor tool, for easy implementation of peer-to-peer mesh networks based on years of networking expertise.

The hardware platform, consists of several evaluation boards based on All Flash microcontrollers by NEC Electronics, which offers the flexibility of flash-based programming and excellent power consumption levels, combined with UBEC's UZ2400 transceiver device, which integrates a wireless RF transceiver operating at 2.4 gigahertz, physical (PHY) layer baseband and media access control (MAC) layer architecture.

After prototyping with the development kit, users can choose to develop their systems using any of NEC Electronics' unparalleled family of flash-based microcontrollers, including the 8-bit 78K0, the 16-bit K0R, and the 32-bit V850ES microcontrollers. The company boasts a lineup of more than 200 devices, allowing customers to select the MCU that meets the precise needs for the applications they want to develop.

"NEC Electronics offers customers a selection of more than 200 flash-based microcontrollers to choose from, offering an unparalleled degree of flexibility," said Shige Ishikawa, general manager, Multipurpose Microcomputer Systems Division, NEC Electronics. "We are excited to be working with Skyley Networks and UBEC, two recognized leaders in the ZigBee arena, to bring such a wide range of possibilities to wireless system developers."

"It is quite exciting to see the five year experience of ad-hoc, peer-to- peer network in Skyley Networks can be shared with vast amount of network solution providers on the globe," said Hidekazu Umeda, CEO of Skyley Networks.

"This collaboration took place at a perfect time for the ZigBee network to commence the deployment in various sensor networks," said Chun-Yi Chai, CEO of UBEC. "The superior RF features of the UZ2400 transceiver chip will enable a wide range of applications envisioned by the ZigBee Alliance."

Pricing and Availability
Evaluation boards for the 78K0 are available now, and additional boards for 78K0R and V850ES will be added in early 2007, priced from $150. The software development kits will be available in early 2007, priced at $980. Pricing and availability are subject to change. NEC Electronics and Skyley Networks anticipate sales of more than 1000 licenses of the SDK by 2010.

About ZigBee
ZigBee is a wireless network technology that enables long lifetime with low power consumption, using dry batteries. The technology is well-suited for a wide range of building automation, industrial automation, medical and residential control & monitoring applications.

About NEC Electronics
NEC Electronics Corporation specializes in semiconductor products encompassing advanced technology solutions for the high-end computing and broadband networking markets, system solutions for the mobile handset, PC peripherals, automotive and digital consumer markets, and platform solutions for a wide range of customer applications. NEC Electronics Corporation has 24 subsidiaries worldwide including NEC Electronics America, Inc. and NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbH. For additional information about NEC Electronics worldwide, visit the company's Web site.

NEC Electronics is a member of the ZigBee Alliance as a participant.

About Skyley Networks Inc.
Skyley Networks was established in 2001, and specialized in the "P2P" (Peer-to-Peer) protocol network technologies. Skyley Networks rolled out its proprietary P2P protocol, "DECENTRA", in 2002, and has accumulated an enormous amount of experience in P2P applications over wireless LAN and Bluetooth. Additional information about Skyley Networks can be found at the company's Web site.

Skyley Networks is a member of the ZigBee Alliance as an adopter.

About Uniband Electronic Corp.
UBEC is an international fabless semiconductor company specializing in the design and manufacture of ICs for wireless applications. With its headquarters in Hsin-Chu Taiwan and an office in Silicon Valley, U.S.A. UBEC offers various RF solutions tailored to our customers' and partners' needs. Our mission is to develop high quality products with competitive price-and- performance ratio and time-to-market advantages for our customers. Being "customer-oriented" has always been the spirit of UBEC's people and at UBEC customer always comes first. For more information, visit the UBEC Web site.

UBEC is a member of the ZigBee Alliance as a participant.


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