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ZigBee Wireless Sensor Network Application

Broadband services continue to be in high demand, attracting millions of new subscribers worldwide each month, and enabling new applications, according to the latest In-Stat market study.

In-stat projects that Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and smart energy will be the leading applications for 802.15.4 and ZigBee wireless sensor networks. Other growing application segments include consumer electronics, building control, industrial process control, and residential automation.

ZigBee, through its impressive marketing efforts in the U.S., has owned the largest mind share in the wireless sensor networking space for the past several years.

However, a host of proprietary software stacks are being used in applications where ZigBee offers more than what is required by the specific applications, the high-tech market research firm says.

"A large number of technologies are being used for countless applications, with ZigBee usage becoming more focused on the fast-growing smart energy application," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst.

"On a global basis, utilities and governments are leveraging these technologies to provision, monitor, and bill customers more efficiently while also benefiting the environment."

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- 802.15.4 node and chipset units will reach 292 million in 2012, up from 7 million in 2007.

- Only one-third of 802.15.4 chips include a ZigBee stack, demonstrating the fragmentation among competing sensor network technologies and software stacks.

- 802.15.4 is emerging in consumer electronics markets through efforts by RF4CE.

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