Hitachi WirelessInfo Venture Co, a division of the Japan’s Hitachi Ltd that develops sensor and monitoring systems, has chosen Ember Corp to provide the silicon for a range of ZigBee-compliant products it is developing.
ZigBee is technology for low-data-rate, machine-to-machine networking, complying with the IEEE’s 802.15.4 spec. It has applications in a variety of areas, from lighting control, security and building automation, to communications and consumer electronics devices.
Hitachi plans to develop a series of sensor and control modules to be marketed to other Hitachi business units such as Hitachi Electronics Services Co and Hitachi Urban Development, as well as OEMs outside the group. It cited as examples of the kind of applications for these products: sanitary control in warehouses, commercial building security, supply chain quality, and remote facility monitoring.
Hitachi will use the EM250 system-on-a-chip from Boston, Massachusetts-based Ember, which began to ship in October, as the basis for the modules. The partnership with Ember is essential to our strategy to commercialize sensor network systems as well as promote an industry wide standard in wireless data communications, said Taizo Kinoshita, president and CEO of Hitachi WI.
ZigBee is an emerging technology right now, so contracts with big OEMs like Hitachi are feathers in Ember’s cap as it seeks to raise its profile in the market. In December Siemens Building Technologies Inc launched Apogee Wireless Field Level Network, a building automation system based on Ember’s silicon.