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Mitsubishi preps Zigbee hardware

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Mitsubishi preps Zigbee for enterprise security apps

Paul Kallender, IDG News Service

17/02/2005 08:49:29

Mitsubishi Electric intends to commercialize in 2007 ZigBee-based sensor networks that have location and positioning applications, the company said Tuesday.

Mitsubishi Electric has added microcomputers with software algorithms to ZigBee sensors that enables them to measure the distance between each other, said Noriyuki Kushiro, manager at Mitsubishi Electric's Living Environment Systems Lab.

ZigBee is a wireless system based on the 802.15.4 standard approved by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It is designed to carry data at up to 250K bps (bits per second) and use very little power so that ZigBee equipment can run for years on standard household batteries.

In an experimental network made by the company, the chips on the sensors are able to measure distances between themselves through the different strengths of the signals, Kushiro said.

The chips used on the sensors are 16-bit microprocessors made by Renesas Technology and each combined chip and senor is powered by 2 AA batteries, according to the company.

The target price for the ZigBee sensor and chip unit is YEN 300 (US$2.85), but the company has not decided how much more it will charge for the algorithm for distance measurement, said Travis Woodward, a company spokesman.

The chips are able to calculate the distance to an accuracy of about 80 percent. For example, if two sensors are a meter apart, they can calculate the distance between them to an accuracy of 20 centimeters. If two sensors are 10 meters apart, the error is up to two meters, Kushiro said.

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