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Ember Smart Energy Suite accelerates ZigBee certification of Home Area Network devices

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AutomatedBuildings.com

Control Solutions, Inc

Devices from 12 leading AMI OEMs use Emberís suite to achieve ZigBee Smart Energy Profile Certification

BOSTON, May 19, 2008 Ė Ember today introduced its Smart Energy Suite (SES), a collection of embedded software, tools, and silicon that dramatically simplifies the delivery of devices certified to the ZigBee Allianceís Smart Energy (SE) Profile. The SE Profile defines the standard behaviors of secure, easy-to-use, Home Area Network (HAN) devices, which are critical components of emerging Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) deployments.

HANs connect thermostats, in-home displays, smart appliances, and other load control devices to the utility network. AMI uses a smart electric meter or other energy gateway to enable continuous two way communications between utilities and HAN-based devices.

Ember has been working with AMI industry leaders within the ZigBee Alliance to accelerate delivery of Smart Energy Profile Certified products. Today 12 vendors, including Ember, have certified products based on Emberís Smart Energy Suite. Ember has also partnered with Certicom, provider of the most secure public key scheme, to integrate the industryís leading security and authentication technology into the Ember Smart Energy Suite.

Emberís Smart Energy Suite includes:
A complete, fully certified ZigBee Smart Energy Profile reference application
Emberís AppBuilder tool for ZigBee SE certified device development
Version 3.2 of the EmberZNet PRO networking stack, supporting the ZigBee PRO Feature Set
Certicomís Security Builder MCE (microcontroller edition) for ZigBee Smart Energy software
Emberís EM250 ZigBee system-on-chip and the EM260 ZigBee network co-processor

The ZigBee SE Profile enables wireless communication between the AMI network and HAN, linking homes with utilities. This allows homeowners and utility companies to collaborate on improving energy efficiency and managing peak demand while offering consumers a choice in interoperable devices.

Emberís ZigBee Smart Energy Suite comes at a time when demand for electricity around the world is outstripping supply, especially during peak demand periods. If energy demand can respond dynamically to the available energy supply, huge cost, reliability and energy efficiency gains can be achieved by consumers and utilities alike.

ďHANs and AMI represent the biggest change in residential energy infrastructure since the creation of the power grid a century ago,Ē said Skip Ashton, Emberís vice president of engineering. ďA smarter grid will save homeowners money and help the environment by reducing the need for new power plants. Emberís new Smart Energy Suite dramatically simplifies the path to this change.Ē

Emberís SES is the first ZigBee Smart Energy-certified technology platform commercially available. Ember also integrated the new Smart Energy Profile software and security with its ZigBee silicon, including the EM250 and EM260. Seamless integration of the ZigBee Smart Energy software, security, development tools and hardware into a single platform offers manufacturers the fastest and most reliable route into the HAN/AMI marketplace.

To provide the strongest possible wireless network security, Ember integrated Certicomís Security Builder MCE for ZigBee Smart Energy into its Smart Energy Suite. Strong security is critical for utilities to ensure that only appropriate HAN devices are authenticated and connected to the utility network. Certicomís Security Builder MCE secures ZigBee networks using powerful elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) to add a provable identity for HAN devices. The Certicom implementation is available directly integrated into Emberís EM260 or as a library running on Emberís EM250.

ďEmber has developed a strong ecosystem to drive the ZigBee Smart Energy initiative,Ē said Jim Alfred, Certicomís director of product management. ďCerticom Security for ZigBee Smart Energy agent is pre-integrated with Emberís Smart Energy Suite, seamlessly harnessing Ember silicon and software. Certicom offers metering companies and consumers certainty that their devices are secure, easy to provision, and easy to use.Ē

PlantPROCORE New Smart Energy Products
Numerous customers and partners of Ember are delivering HAN/AMI products and services based on Emberís new offering, ranging from smart meters, energy service portals and programmable thermostats to in-house Smart Energy displays, load control devices and network equipment, among many other innovations. The following is a list of customers and partners who are announcing ZigBee Smart Energy certified products based on Ember technology. Click here for additional information and to hear what they have to say about the Smart Energy suite. (Or paste this URL into your browser: http://ember.com/newsletters/testimonials.html.)
Cellnet + Hunt
Computime Limited
Comverge
Energate
Greenbox Technology
Itron
LS Industrial Systems, Co., LTD
National Technical Systems (NTS)
PRI
Tendril
Trilliant

Pricing and Availability
The Ember Smart Energy Suite is in limited release now, and will be available in general release in June. The Certicom Security Builder MCE for ZigBee Smart Energy is licensed separately from Certicom.

ZigBee: Wireless Control That Simply Works
The ZigBee Alliance is an association of companies working together to enable reliable, cost-effective, low-power, wirelessly networked monitoring and control products based on an open global standard. The ZigBee Alliance is a rapidly growing, non-profit industry consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, technology providers, OEMs, and end-users worldwide. Membership is open to all. Additional information can be found at http://www.zigbee.org.

About Ember Corporation
Ember Corporation develops ZigBee wireless networking technology that enables companies involved in energy technologies Ė enertech Ė to help make buildings and homes smarter, consume less energy, operate more efficiently, and keep people comfortable and safe. Emberís low-power wireless technology can be embedded into a wide variety of devices to be part of a self-organizing mesh network. Ember is headquartered in Boston and has its radio development center in Cambridge, England, and distributors worldwide. The company is a promoter and Board member of the ZigBee Alliance and its platform is the ďGolden SuiteĒ for 802.15.4/ZigBee interoperability testing. For more information, please visit http://www.ember.com.
 

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