LONDON A consortium of semiconductor companies, RFID industry players, system integrators and wireless data users have formed the DASH7 Alliance that will develop and promote a technology that extends the ISO 18000-7 standard.
The Alliance will provide a framework for application development on top of the core standard, seamless interoperability, and security for DASH7-enabled transactions.
The technology is expected to provide commercial, military and government users with the ability to track the status of objects such as vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.
The wireless data technology is already used in the global defense industry, and a major aim is to extend it to commercial customers.
Initial backers include STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Analog Devices from the components side, as well as 17 other cross-industry equipment providers, system integrators and users such as Lockheed Martin, Dow, Michelin, Savi Technologies and Unisys.
The U.S. Department of Energy and three of its laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the University of Pittsburgh plan to serve as technical advisors. The latter plans to serve as the initial test and certification lab for DASH7-enabled products.
The Alliance says the technology will be more cost effective and reliable and operate at lower power levels than ZigBee and similar wireless data technologies.
It adds the members would also foster wireless data innovations based on the standard, including advanced sensor networking, electronic seals and mobile phone integration.
"By assembling this coalition of both end users and technology companies, we can promote greater interoperability and reliability, but also inspire greater innovation around a common standard," commented David Stephens, CEO of Savi Technologies.
According to Michael Liard, Practice Director, RFID, of ABI Research, the Alliance "is both timely and mission critical to growing the active UHF segment of the RFID market."
STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices plan to provide hardware developer toolkits, while TI plans to be a DASH7 participant.
The Alliance says membership is open to end users, technology providers and research organizations.