News | March 2, 2005

Atmel, Ember Bring ZigBee Networking/Microcontroller Platform To Market

San Jose, CA and Boston -- Atmel Corporation and Ember Corporation announced a partnership on the ultra-low power ZigBee semiconductor platform. Atmel's AVR 8-bit Flash microcontrollers combined with Ember's wireless semiconductor systems let OEMs take advantage of the ZigBee application market with a complete, integrated microprocessor, radio, and software solution.

The partnership has already borne fruit, with many OEMs bringing real-world ZigBee-based products to market. For example, NURI Telecom, a Korean company supplying IT integrated management and automatic meter reading (AMR) solutions, has developed a ZigBee-based AMR product and Home Network Solution using Atmel and Ember's platform. NURI Telecom has also developed a ZigBee-based communication module as a OEM product for many other AMR and home network solution providers. Currently in pilot testing in Korea and soon to be launched in the United States, NURI's wireless AMR system will save utility companies millions of dollars by eliminating the need to manually read electric, gas, and water meters at homeowners' premises. It will also bring new revenue opportunities by enabling utilities to play in the emerging digital home market by providing remote monitoring and control services for home security, anti-fire system, and home appliance control.

OEMs can rapidly build applications for the Atmel/Ember platform using the Ember's 2420 Developer Kit. It includes hardware that comprises the Atmel AVR microcontroller, development tools, and software for embedded applications. The kit's software also includes a service-aware API that simplifies code development and lets OEMs focus on their embedded applications.

"Ember has a very good ZigBee platform," said Jarle Boe, Atmel's AVR marketing manager. "Ember's first class ZigBee-ready solution combined with their strong support of the ZigBee Alliance makes them a great partner. Moreover, Ember's IEEE 802.15.4 platform is used by National Technical Systems (NTS) as a 'Golden Suite' when comparing other 2.4 GHz, 802.15.4 products targeted for ZigBee for MAC-level interoperability."

The Atmel and Ember ZigBee ready offering is designed as a complete, fast-to-market solution for OEMs building products for home and building control, automation, security, consumer electronics, medical monitoring and toys. These applications require a technology offering long battery life, reliability, automatic or semiautomatic installation, and simplified addition or removal of network nodes combined with a low system cost. The companies' ZigBee ready solution supports all these requirements with wireless mesh monitoring and management networks that automatically configure and heal themselves while working for years on very little power.

"Atmel's AVR microcontrollers work well in ZigBee applications thanks to the flexible internal memory sizes needed to support the ZigBee protocol stack," said Venkat Bahl, Ember's VP of marketing. "The high performance and low power consumption offered by our combined chipset solution ensures minimum latency and maximum battery life for wide ranging ZigBee applications."

Source: Atmel Corporation