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13 January, 2006 - 11:59 By Staff Reporter

Semiconductor giant teams up with Ember on ZigBee

Ember Corporation has teamed up with one of the world’s largest semiconductor firms to develop a complete roadmap of next generation ZigBee solutions, with the first new product targeted for an early 2006 launch.Ember Corporation has teamed up with one of the world’s largest semiconductor firms to develop a complete roadmap of next generation ZigBee solutions, with the first new product targeted for an early 2006 launch.

The non-exclusive partnership with STMicroelectronics includes hardware, software and tools and combines Ember’s expertise and intellectual property in ZigBee radio hardware and software, with ST’s world-class semiconductor technology and development, as well as its global manufacturing and marketing resources.

It is the second high profile collaboration for Ember – whose hardware division is based in Cambridge – in a week, coming just days after it announced a partnership with global electronics giant, Hitachi, to develop a family of ZigBee-based sensors.

The announcements provide ringing endorsements for Ember’s work and the ZigBee wireless protocol.

ST’s collaboration with Ember followed extensive market evaluation of various ZigBee technology providers according to Jean-Claude Kaire, director of standard linear ICs at ST.

He said: “ST chose Ember because its ZigBee platform is more mature, feature-rich and well ahead of other vendors. Together we can be strong leaders in the ZigBee market by combining the complementary assets and expertise of our two companies.”

Hitachi WirelessInfo Venture Company (WI), a new Hitachi division, will work with Ember to develop a family of ZigBee-based sensors for use in a variety of wireless monitoring, sensing and control applications.

The new modules will be marketed to other Hitachi business units, including Hitachi Electronics Services Co. and Hitachi Urban Development, as well as other OEM companies.

Hitachi WI plans to adopt Ember’s next generation EM250 system-on-a-chip in 2006.

Taizo Kinoshita, president and CEO of Hitachi WI, said: “The partnership with Ember is essential to our strategy to commercialise sensor network systems as well as promote an industry wide standard in wireless data communications.”

Last year Hitachi, which has some 347,000 employees worldwide, announced consolidated sales of 9,027bn yen (£44.1 bn). In 2004, ST’s net revenues were $8.7bn (£4.88bn).

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