According to Sigma Designs’ CEO Thinh Tran, as a second source, Mitsumi will independently produce and deliver the latest generation of Z-Wave 500 series modules as well as a Mitsumi original design module that will expand the functionality for Z-Wave in more commercial markets making it easier for large multi-international companies and government operations that require a second source to adopt Z-Wave.
A competitor in some of the same markets that Zigbee targets in home area networks. Z-Wave (ITU standard G.9959), said Tran, is a proven and interoperable wireless mesh networking technology designed for use in a wide array of devices in and around the home to communicate including lighting, appliances, HVAC, and security systems.
Z-Wave communicates using a low-power wireless technology designed specifically for remote control applications. The Z-Wave wireless protocol is optimized for reliable, low-latency communication of small data packets with data rates up to 100Kbps, unlike Wi-Fi and other IEEE 802.11-based wireless LAN systems that are designed primarily for high-bandwidth data flow.
Z-Wave operates in the sub-gigahertz frequency range, around 900 MHz. This band competes with some cordless telephones and other consumer electronics devices, but avoids interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other systems that operate on the crowded 2.4 GHz band.
As of 2013, Z-Wave is supported by over 160 manufacturers worldwide and appears in a broad range of consumer and commercial products in the US, Europe and Asia. The lower layers, MAC and PHY, are described by ITU-T G.9959.
“The market for Z-Wave is booming and we want to capitalize on Z-Wave's global potential,” Fujio Furukawa, senior vice president at Electronic Devices Business HQ of Mitsumi. “Further, we are very excited to drive Z-Wave further in the Japanese market where the interest in Z-Wave technology has great potential for energy reduction in residential as well as commercial applications.”