Freescale Controls Home Entertainment Devices with New RF Technology

Freescale Semiconductor is changing the dynamics of the consumer electronics market by introducing radio frequency (RF) technology designed to revolutionize the way consumers remotely control their home entertainment devices. Freescale’s RF entertainment control platform addresses a growing concern among today’s electronics manufacturers: the technology limitations and interruptions caused by current infrared (IR) solutions that are not compatible with their consumer product roadmaps.

“Freescale’s RF entertainment control platform represents the most significant breakthrough in remote control technology for consumer electronics since the advent of IR-based devices in the 1970s,” said Sumit Sadana, senior vice president of Strategy and Business Development at Freescale. “This technology creates an innovative and flexible platform that meets our customers’ evolving requirements, while providing a very positive user experience for consumers.”

The consumer electronics industry has used IR technology for more than 30 years. As plasma and LCD screens grow in size and popularity, IR technology is facing limitations in its ability to effectively control these larger devices. In addition, all communication from an IR-based remote control unit must be in line-of-sight of the device and within a short distance.

“Freescale’s entertainment control platform is designed to enable a true point-to-point solution that can penetrate walls or even reach outside the home,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst, Park Associates. “This flexibility gives consumers an unprecedented degree of freedom, whether they want to download a program guide or song play lists from their audio receiver to their remote control or control their entire entertainment system with a push of a button.”

Based on the industry-trusted IEEE(R) 802.15.4 global standard, Freescale’s entertainment control platform and network layer were developed with the consumer in mind. This comprehensive platform enables advanced control capabilities, such as two-way communication between entertainment devices. It eliminates the need for line-of-sight control and provides the foundation for a universal remote control for any consumer electronic component.

Working in collaboration with several leading consumer electronic manufacturers, Freescale is actively driving the RF entertainment control platform to become a global industry standard. The standard is expected to be publicly available in 2008. Consumer electronics products featuring Freescale’s platform are anticipated in retail stores later this year.

Freescale’s next-generation RF entertainment control platform is taking center stage this week at the FTF Americas Technology Lab with a demonstration showcasing the RF platform technology.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.