ZigBee will emerge as the dominant wireless mesh networking technology, experts have predicted.
Analyst firm In-Stat believes that the emerging networking system will hit the mainstream because of the clarity of the ZigBee standard, the organisational strength of the ZigBee Alliance and the involvement of several of the world's largest semiconductor companies in developing the technology.
Wireless mesh networks are a "mosaic" of proprietary and non-proprietary implementations, according to In-Stat.
The IEEE 802.15.4 Working Group was designed to create unified standards for short-range, self-configuring mesh networks. ZigBee is a networking layer that is built on top of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard.
"ZigBee is designed to create interoperability among silicon vendors and facilitate common software and profile platforms for end-users in specific applications," said In-Stat analyst Chris Kissel.
"The addition of ZigBee to 802.15.4 gives an OEM or other end user the assurance of multiple sources of silicon."
The ZigBee Alliance has been the keeper of the ZigBee standard and is an open community of 200 companies charged with the promotion of the technology and testing of equipment.
In-Stat estimates that between 4.5 million and 10.5 million ZigBee RF components will be sold in 2006, and that commercial building control is, and will continue to be, the largest 802.15.4 ZigBee application.
North America represented 53 per cent of all 802.15.4 ZigBee nodes in use during 2005.
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