ZigBee's potential remains unclear, says In-Stat

ZigBee, the low-power wireless standard, continues to evolve but its potential remains unclear, according to analyst In-Stat.

Currently, ZigBee technology targets building automation, industrial, medical, home automation, asset management, HVAC and other monitoring applications.


In-Stat expects more applications will be invented as programmers acquire more understanding of the technology.

Within the market, there are different philosophies between chipset
manufacturers and their approaches, according to In-Stat analyst Brian O'Rourke.


'A company like Jennic sees the technology as an application-enabler, focusing on giving their clients low-cost tool kits and providing their ZigBee software stack for free for customers who choose to build with their components," O'Rourke said.


"Ember allows their co-processor chipset, the EM-250, as an add-on for a customer that has application-specific MCUs,' he added.

Recent research by In-Stat noted the following points:

- Total ZigBee/802.15.4 node and chipset units will reach 120 million
in 2011, up from 5 million in 2006.

- The ZigBee Pro feature set released to members in October 2007
includes: network scalability, fragmentation, frequency agility,
automated device address management, group addressing, wireless
commissioning, and centralized data collection.

- There is a surge in interest in ZigBee technology for Automated
Meter Infrastructure.

- Adoption in the consumer electronics is expected to be low because
of competing technologies.