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TMCNet:  Ember unveils IP stack roadmap for smart grid applications

[September 19, 2012]

Ember unveils IP stack roadmap for smart grid applications

Ember today unveiled plans for the release of its Internet Protocol (IP)-based low-power wireless networking stack for smart metering and smart grid applications.

A very early version of the Ember IP Stack has already been available to a limited group of customers and Ember plans to progressively expand the availability to a larger base of its customers in the coming months as features get added and the stack undergoes higher levels of testing. Ember’s plans call for a Beta release of the stack in Q3 2011 followed by general availability by the end of the year. The Ember IP stack is targeted at smart grid applications, especially smart meters and home area network (HAN) devices.

http://www.silabs.com/applications/industrial/Pages/SmartMeters.aspx Over the past two years Ember has invested significant engineering resources towards its commitment and vision of providing a reliable, code efficient, and high performance IP solution running on IEEE 802.15.4 radios that is best suited for the characteristics and profile that is typical of scalable, low-power wireless networks. In that pursuit, Ember has contributed to the great efforts being made by standards bodies such as IETF and the ZigBee Alliance that are working aggressively towards enabling native IP support for smart meters and HAN devices.

“Ember’s revelation of their plans for an IP Stack only makes public the significant progress they have been making in the background,” said Kent Dickson, CTO of Tendril, an Ember customer and an energy platform company. “Their experience helping customers deploy tens of millions of ZigBee devices in the field is invaluable in shaping a technology that will be a part of the long life span of smart grid systems.” Ember is a global leader in standards-based, low-power wireless mesh networking technologies and its unmatched experience and expertise provides Ember with a strong understanding of the unique challenges and requirements of such networks. Ember has brought to bear that knowledge and experience, sharing test cases, performance data and code space information with its customers and Alliance partners. Ember has also co-authored an IETF routing protocol – RPL – for “low-power and lossy” networks and has made contributions to a number of IETF working groups such as 6LowPan, ROLL and CORE.

“We have been working hard within the standards bodies we are associated with to forge low-powered IP standards that constitute a reliable, scalable and secure platform to help consumers and utilities reduce energy consumption and their carbon footprint well into the future,” said Bob LeFort, Ember’s CEO. “Our existing and new customers need to start making important product design decisions for their next-generation devices and now is the right time to give them and the industry better visibility of our schedule and the path towards a standards-based IP solution.” Ember will be demonstrating, by invitation, its progress with the aid of a 30-node network to its customers and partners at the ConnectivityWeek 2011 Conference in Santa Clara, CA from May 23-26.

About Ember Ember Corporation (www.ember.com) develops wireless mesh networking technology – chips, software and tools - for Smart Energy, connected homes, and many other monitoring and control applications enabling greener living and work environments. The Boston-based company is a promoter of the ZigBee Alliance with an IC design center in Cambridge, England, an office in Hong Kong and sales channels and distributors worldwide.

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