According to NPD In-Stat, semiconductor revenues for 802.15.4 will probably grow to over $1 billion in 2015. The smart grid/automated meter reading market will account for more than 71% of the revenue. ZigBee is in a majority of smart meters that communicate with devices inside the home. The technology can mesh with other smart meters to carry the data back to the utility. The next sizable markets for ZigBee technology are home automation (driven by energy savings) and consumer lighting (due to the large number of lighting fixtures in the home and office).
ZigBee is an open standard technology that runs on the 802.15.4 radio standard (PHY) and MAC. The technology is low-cost, low-power, self-healing, and scalable, and it offers mesh technology and application profiles for home automation, smart energy, building automation, healthcare, retail, telecom, even an application layer to be used to build 3D glasses.
Here are some findings from NPD In-Stat’s 802.15.4 and ZigBee research report:
- Smart energy is the largest volume growth opportunity at this time
- The US leads in market deployments of smart meters
- Hospital applications are focused on asset tracking and patient tracking
- The telcos and MSOs are looking at security systems as an area to build a new revenue stream
- The ZigBee Alliance is a platform leader, has ramped up its profile development, and is aggressively going after a number of markets
- Smart energy is gaining the most traction as government stimulus and mandates are forcing utilities to better manage electricity usage
- ZigBee RF4CE is competing with BT-LE as consumer electronics manufacturers look for IR replacement technology
- BT-LE has had some major wins against ZigBee RF4CE
- Lighting has the potential to become a major application for ZigBee
- ZigBee is competing against Wi-Fi, BT-LE, and other application-specific standards
The 94-page 802.15.4 and ZigBee research report is available now for $3,495.