Renesas and ZMD to collaborate on 900MHz band ZigBee chipset

3rd April 2007
ES Admin
Renesas Technology Corp. and ZMD AG have announced a joint development agreement enabling Renesas to incorporate ZMD’s RF technology into Renesas microcontrollers (MCU) to develop a 900MHz band ZigBee chipset. Based on this agreement, the two companies will set up a collaborative development team with the aim of bringing a ZigBee chipset to market. The resulting advanced chipset is expected to accelerate the development of various types of IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee systems. The two companies intend to complete the development work in 2008.
ZigBee is a short-distance wireless communication standard based on IEEE 802.15.4. It was developed for control systems for automating homes and offices, communication applications for healthcare equipment or automated inspection systems, and data transfer between sensors such as detectors of various types. It is anticipated that IEEE802.15.4 based solutions, including ZigBee, will become the dominant short-distance communication standard in the future. Of the various communication bands supported by ZigBee, the 900MHz band is now being introduced primarily in Europe and North America.

Its advantages include a wide coverage range, optimized battery life, and minimal signal interference.
ZMD is the world's leading supplier of RF chips that can support 900 MHz band ZigBee. The company possesses the advanced RF technology needed to develop 900MHz chipsets and has a proven track record of bringing ZigBee products to market. In response to strong market demand, ZMD has been seeking a way to combine RF and MCU functionality. Renesas Technology has also been studying ways to provide a 16-bit MCU-based system solution which supports the 900 MHz band.

“900 MHz ZigBee is a critical technology in supporting the development of building automation and home automation systems, which are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years,” said Hideharu Takebe, board director and general manager, MCU business group, Renesas Technology Corp. “By combining the expertise of ZMD’s 900MHz RF technology and Renesas’ MCU technology, we will be delivering a compelling ZigBee solution to our customers, ahead of our competition.”

Thilo von Selchow, CEO and president, ZMD AG added: ZMD is delighted to sign a joint development agreement with Renesas to further develop our 900MHz ZigBee solutions. ZMD has been a market leader in sub-gigahertz RF chipset solutions for a number of years. The opportunity to combine our proven IP and design know-how with the market leader in microcontroller technology will ensure that ZMD continues to create innovative RF solutions. ZMD will continue to work with Renesas Technology for further joint development of ZigBee products. ”

In future the two companies plan to further strengthen their collaborative efforts and are considering the development of a single-chip solution, which combines an MCU with embedded RF functionality.

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