Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) announced that TI has joined the newly formed RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) Consortium. This consortium is designed to create a new protocol that will enable development of radio frequency remote controls which replace IR remote controls, deliver richer communications, increase reliability and improve flexibility. As a key contributor to this technology, TI will provide both hardware and software solutions for the new RF4CE protocol.
“TI is excited to work with six other leading technology companies in the RF4CE Consortium to define and develop the future of RF remote controls for consumer electronics devices,” said Laurent Giai-Miniet, general manager of TI’s low-power RF products.
Most existing remote controls use infrared technology to communicate commands to controlled devices. While no radio frequency remote control standard currently exists for audio visual consumer electronic devices, increased demand for advanced functionality that cannot be supported by existing infrared technology has led to the formation of the RF4CE Consortium. Radio frequency remote controls enable non line-of-sight operation and the technology also provides more advanced features based on bi-directional communications such as display feedback for an enhanced entertainment experience.
The new radio frequency remote control standard will be based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequency band, which enables worldwide operation, low power consumption and instantaneous response time. The RF4CE Consortium aims to develop a radio frequency platform that allows omni-directional and reliable two-way wireless communication, frequency agility to co-exist with other 2.4GHz wireless technologies, simple security set-up and configuration.
TI already provides a hardware platform for the new RF4CE standard with the CC2430 system-on-chip, which integrates an IEEE 802.15.4 compliant radio, MCU and flash memory. TI is also contributing heavily to the development and specification of the RF4CE protocol which is not based on any existing protocols in the market today.
At the release of the RF4CE protocol, TI will offer a hardware and software solution for immediate implementation. TI will simultaneously develop specific IEEE 802.15.4 system-on-chip solutions targeting this emerging RF-based remote control market – available early 2009.
About RF4CE Consortium
The RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) industry consortium has been formed to develop a new protocol that will further the adoption of radio frequency remote controls for audio visual devices. The consortium founding members – Panasonic, Philips, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corporation – will work together with Freescale Semiconductors, OKI and Texas Instruments to create a standardized specification for radio frequency-based remote controls that deliver richer communication, increased reliability and more flexible use.