Renesas, ZMD to Develop 900 MHz Band ZigBee Chipset

Renesas Technology Corp. and ZMD AG announced a joint development agreement enabling Renesas to incorporate ZMD’s RF technology into Renesas microcontrollers (MCU) to develop a 900-MHz band ZigBee(R) chipset. Based on this agreement, the two companies will set up a collaborative development team with the aim of bringing a ZigBee chipset to market. The resulting advanced chipset is expected to accelerate the development of various types of IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee systems. The two companies intend to complete the development work in 2008.

ZigBee is a short-distance wireless communication standard based on IEEE 802.15.4. It was developed for control systems for automating homes and offices, communication applications for healthcare equipment or automated inspection systems, and data transfer between sensors such as detectors of various types. It is anticipated that IEEE 802.15.4-based solutions, including ZigBee, will become the dominant short-distance communication standard in the future. Of the various communication bands supported by ZigBee, the 900 MHz band is now being introduced primarily in Europe and North America. Its advantages include a wide coverage range, optimized battery life, and minimal signal interference.

ZMD is the world’s leading supplier of RF chips that can support 900 MHz band ZigBee. The company possesses the advanced RF technology needed to develop 900 MHz chipsets and has a proven track record of bringing ZigBee products to market. In response to strong market demand, ZMD has been seeking a way to combine RF and MCU functionality. Renesas Technology has also been studying ways to provide a 16-bit MCU-based system solution which supports the 900 MHz band.

“900 MHz ZigBee is a critical technology in supporting the development of building automation and home automation systems, which are expected to grow rapidly in the next several years,” said Hideharu Takebe, board director and general manager, MCU business unit, Renesas Technology Corp. “By combining the expertise of ZMD’s 900 MHz RF technology and Renesas’ MCU technology, we will be delivering a compelling ZigBee solution to our customers, ahead of our competition.”

Thilo von Selchow, CEO and president, ZMD AG, added: “ZMD is delighted to sign a joint development agreement with Renesas to further develop our 900 MHz ZigBee solutions. ZMD has been a market leader in sub-gigahertz RF chipset solutions for a number of years. The opportunity to combine our proven IP and design know-how with the market leader in microcontroller technology will ensure that ZMD continues to create innovative RF solutions. ZMD will continue to work with Renesas Technology for further joint development of ZigBee products.”

In the future the two companies plan to further strengthen their collaborative efforts and are considering the development of a single-chip solution, which combines an MCU with embedded RF functionality.

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world’s leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world’s No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TOKYO:6501) (NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 906 billion JPY in FY2005 (end of March 2006). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,200 employees worldwide.

About ZMD
Founded in 1961, ZMD AG is a leading supplier of analogue mixed-signal integrated circuits for automotive, medical, industrial and consumer applications. ZMD specializes in the expert design, test, and marketing of low power application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and application-specific standard products (ASSPs). Its advanced circuit-design and fabrication expertise allow it to offer ICs with operating temperatures as high as +160°C, and voltages from 0.85 V to 40 V. Headquartered in Dresden, Germany, ZMD has 250 employees worldwide and serves customers from the company’s offices in Melville, NY; Santa Clara, CA; Stuttgart, Germany; London, England; Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan and Hsinchu City, Taiwan. ZMD has design centers in Dresden, Stuttgart, and Madison, Wisconsin.