Silicon Labs, a provider of silicon, software and solutions, announces Z-Wave Long Range (LR) support for existing Z-Wave 700 Series products. With ten-year coin cell battery operation, backward compatibility and the addition of Z-Wave LR features, Silicon Labs Z-Wave 700 Series SoCs and modules extend seamless wireless connectivity beyond the smart home. The unique benefits of Z-Wave LR make it a perfect fit for Internet of Things (IoT) applications in commercial, multi-dwelling unit (MDU), and hospitality markets. Z-Wave LR is a new specification by the Z-Wave Alliance offering point-to-point wireless connectivity at ranges up to several miles and support for thousands of nodes. External power amplifier Z-Wave LR eliminates the need for mesh repeaters, saving time and money for developers and end customers. “The addition of Z-Wave Long Range support is a significant expansion of our Z-Wave 700 Series product offering, bringing Z-Wave beyond the home into IoT markets requiring substantially greater range and penetration,” said Jake Alamat, vice president and general manager of IoT home and consumer products at Silicon Labs. Z-Wave 700 products will be launched in 2021, further extending range with an increased +20dBm output Field testing of Z-Wave LR on Silicon Labs Z-Wave 700 Series products demonstrated one-mile point-to-point range (line-of-sight) at +14dBm output power, and new Z-Wave 700 products will be launched in 2021, further extending range with an increased +20dBm output. Several mile range can be achieved with an external power amplifier to meet the maximum Z-Wave LR specification limit of +30dBm. Optimising power settings Additionally, the 700 Series supports dynamic output control to optimise power settings and enables up to ten years operation on a coin cell battery. “Silicon Labs’ Z-Wave 700 solutions with Z-Wave Long Range will allow us to provide energy-efficient, scalable IoT connectivity to our smart apartment communities,” said Felicite Moorman, Co-Founder of STRATIS, an IoT platform for connected buildings. “With ease of installation and extended range capabilities, these Z-Wave solutions enable connected products that deliver an excellent experience for installers, staff and residents.” New development kits supporting Z-Wave LR are available for purchase. Software support for Z-Wave Long Range on Z-Wave 700 devices is available via Simplicity Studio 5, Silicon Labs’ free IoT developer environment. Z-Wave Alliance certification for Z-Wave LR devices will be added by end of Q1 2021, with customer products to follow.
Silicon Labs and the Z-Wave Alliance announce plans to open the Z-Wave Specification as a ratified, multi-source wireless standard available to all silicon and stack vendors for development. With this change, semiconductor and software suppliers will be able to join the Z-Wave ecosystem, contribute to future advancements of the leading smart home standard and develop and supply sub-GHz Z-Wave radio devices and software stacks. The Z-Wave Alliance will expand to a standards development organisation for the Z-Wave Specification and will continue to manage the Z-Wave Certification program, which will include software and hardware. Wireless smart home standard Expected to be available in the second half of 2020, the opened Z-Wave Specification will include the ITU.G9959 PHY/MAC radio specification, the application layer, the network layer and the host-device communication protocol. Instead of being a single-source specification, Z-Wave will become a multi-source, wireless smart home standard developed by collective working group members of the Z-Wave Alliance. The Z-Wave Alliance will maintain the certification program and expand the offering With more than 100 million interoperable devices deployed, more than 3,200 certified products and over 700 member companies, Z-Wave has the most mature and pervasive smart home ecosystem in the market. Alliance members and smart home consumers will benefit from the hallmark features of Z-Wave, including interoperability, backwards compatibility, the S2 security framework, easy installation with SmartStart, low-power functionality with a 10-year battery life and long-range with sub-GHz mesh. The Z-Wave Alliance will maintain the certification program and expand the offering to provide technology vendors with both hardware and stack certification and product manufacturers with application layer certification. Adoption of smart home devices “As a standards organisation, the Z-Wave Alliance will help solve the interoperability challenges hindering the adoption of smart home devices,” said Mitch Klein, executive director for the Z-Wave Alliance. “Members will work together on a single sub-GHZ connectivity solution that guarantees the forward-and-backward compatibility, interoperability, security and robustness needed to grow the IoT. The Z-Wave Alliance will collectively advance a fully realised smart home standard.” Silicon Labs is committed to IoT standardisation. By expanding access to Z-Wave as a standard supported by multiple vendors, the smart home ecosystem will benefit both from broader technology support as well as accelerated market adoption. “Silicon Labs has worked to create positive alignment across the industry with the goal of advancing both security and compatibility in smart home devices,” said Jake Alamat, vice president and general manager of IoT home and consumer products at Silicon Labs. “Future success for the smart home industry relies on ecosystems getting closer, not farther apart. The smart home market opportunity is tremendous, and we want to help drive its success. When the ecosystems work together toward a common goal, the entire industry including manufacturers, developers, retailers and consumers benefit from this open collaboration.” Investment in Z-Wave technology Enabling a broader ecosystem of interoperability will bolster consumer and manufacturer confidence" “As an early adopter of Z-Wave technology, we welcome this move by Silicon Labs,” said George Land, Z-Wave Alliance board member and general manager of digital products at Trane. “Enabling an even broader ecosystem of interoperability will bolster both consumer and manufacturer confidence, driving overall growth of the industry.” Silicon Labs will continue to invest in Z-Wave technology and contribute to its future growth, collaborating with new suppliers through the expanded Z-Wave Alliance. Development on the opened Z-Wave Specification will be managed by the new working groups in the Alliance in Q3 2020, and details on the silicon and stack platform certification program also will be announced in Q3. Companies interested in joining the Z-Wave Alliance can also visit the organisation’s booth at CES 2020, Sands #41917.