Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DASH7 Alliance Targets Low-Power Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Wirless

A new industry group

has been formed to expand the use of a wireless data technology commonly used in the global defense industry but increasingly used by commercial customers. Initial backers include Michelin, Lockheed Martin's Savi Technology and Texas Instruments, along with 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, serving as technical advisors.

The technology provides the ability to track the whereabouts and status of a wide range of everyday objects, including vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.

The alliance said its wireless technology, which is based on the ISO 18000-7 standard, is more cost effective, more reliable, and operates at lower power levels than ZigBee and similar wireless data technologies.

"As United States companies grow RFID technologies from their infancy into an industry, it is incredibly important to set a common standard for how all of these new applications are going to be designed and built," said Dr. James Shuler, Manager of the United States Department of Energy's Packaging Certification Program.

Semiconductor manufacturers STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices plan to provide hardware developer toolkits that enable product innovations and enhance interoperability, and Texas Instruments also plans to be a DASH7 participant.