ZigBee and Wifi alliances to collaborate on smart grid wireless networking

Austin, Texas, March 17, 2010 — The ZigBee Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance agreed to collaborate on wireless home area networks for smart grid applications.

The initial focus of the collaboration will be ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, which is the next-generation energy management protocol for smart grid-enabled homes based on today’s successful ZigBee Smart Energy Profile.

The ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 is expected to operate over Wi-Fi technology as a result of the collaboration.

The two organizations will identify opportunities to use ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0, capitalizing on the unique strengths and capabilities of their respective technologies.

This will expand the utility of the HAN in the management of energy consuming or producing devices, a crucial part of smart grid efforts now underway.

ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 was selected last year by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices.

Joining Wi-Fi’s communication technology with ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 means that utilities, vendors and energy consumers will have more choice and versatility in energy management solutions.

The agreement between the two organizations will help deliver close integration of the two communication technologies in a smart home environment.

This environment will include devices ranging from utility meters, thermostats, and appliances to home entertainment devices, computing systems, and automobiles.

ZigBee Smart Energy was initially developed to operate over a standard ZigBee wireless network to support the needs of smart metering and advanced metering infrastructure.

ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 has been designed to support other network technologies within the digital home, including HomePlug and now Wi-Fi.

The low-power ZigBee standard is optimized to the needs of Wireless Sensor Networks by offering robust self organizing, self-healing mesh networking, scalability to very large networks, very low cost and complexity, and superlative battery life.

Wi-Fi technology is today found in hundreds of millions of households and businesses worldwide, and consumers have demonstrated strong affinity for the technology in computing devices, home entertainment systems, and handsets. ABI Research reports that 580 million Wi-Fi devices were shipped in 2009 alone.

The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of leading companies devoted to the proliferation of Wi-Fi technology across devices and market segments. With technology development, market building, and regulatory programs, the Wi-Fi Alliance has enabled widespread adoption of Wi-Fi worldwide.

 

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