Ember claims to be the world’s first ZigBee technology provider to support multiple interconnecting networks on a single system-on-chip (SoC) or network co-processor (NCP) for Connected Home applications. Ember's solution enables a single SoC or NCP device to operate on multiple ZigBee PRO networks or Personal Area Networks (PANs). Ember-enabled Connected Home devices such as home gateways, appliances, displays and thermostats will be able to operate concurrently on multiple ZigBee PRO networks that support ZigBee Smart Energy and ZigBee Home Automation applications.
Ember will initially offer the capability to connect consumer applications and networks in the home with utility-owned smart metering Home Area Networks (HANs). In the first configuration, an Ember EM357 could operate as a coordinator or router on a ZigBee Home Automation network and also operate as a “sleepy” end device on a secondary network running ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x. The other configuration would enable a ZigBee Smart Energy 1.x coordinator or router to also operate as a ZigBee Smart Energy sleepy end device on a secondary network.
Multi-network functionality will be built into Ember’s AppBuilder tool, allowing designers to easily incorporate the feature into their ZigBee certifiable applications, as well as providing analysis of multi-network configurations within the InSight Desktop network debug and diagnostics tool. The multi-networks feature is expected to be generally available to Ember customers in July.
This sounds like the ZigBee device will enable a cascaded network topology. Similar to that in Classic Bluetooth where we can have two different piconets and one device being part of both piconets. The videos at the Ember website are worth looking. They are fun and insightful.
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