Sigma Launches Next Generation Z-Wave™ Technology Aimed at Set-Top Box Applications

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
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Fourth Generation Z-Wave Chip Marks the Start of the Biggest Shift in AV Control in 25 Years

MILPITAS, Calif. — 2010 International CES — Sigma Designs (Nasdaq:SIGM), a leading provider of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions used to deliver entertainment and control throughout the home, today announced the availability of its new SD3402 Z-Wave™ chip designed to add Z-Wave wireless control and status capabilities to radio frequency (RF) remote controls, set-top boxes (STB) and consumer electronic (CE) products.

Thanks to its Z-Wave heritage – the most widely adopted home control technology available today with over 350 home control products – Sigma’s SD3402 doesn’t just stop in a single room. It is uniquely positioned to provide not just AV control across the entire home, but it provides the added value of an interoperable ecosystem of hundreds of home control devices that can provide energy management, safety and security as well as comfort and convenience solutions. Z-Wave provides a seamless path towards unified home control and opens highly profitable opportunities for accessory sales, plus up-and-cross-selling to OEMs and channels alike.

This fourth generation of Z-Wave wireless technology was developed specifically to address the requirements of the set-top box and CE market with a single-chip solution. Sigma’s SD3402 offers CE manufacturers a rich set of features that eliminate the need for additional chips in designs including specialized peripherals for audio and video (AV) control to enable true single-chip RF+ infrared (IR) remotes. In addition, the on-chip IR code generator enables control of products consumers already have in their homes with no additional cost for extra chips.

“Conventional IR technology is a quarter of a century old and does not meet the demands of today’s advanced consumer electronics market,” said Ken Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing at Sigma Designs. “Today, consumers want to conceal AV components in cabinets, get status, have data displayed on the remote control, and control devices throughout the entire house – which IR cannot do properly. With these new demands from consumers, it’s exposing the limitations of IR. Our next generation Z-Wave chip allows manufacturers for CE, IPTV, and cable set-top boxes a growth path that is a superior alternative to traditional IR technology.”

In the past, complexity, cost, and interoperability have been the main inhibitors for the move from IR to RF in CE remote control devices. Sigma’s SD3402 single chip is ideally suited for ultra low-cost RF remotes, yet still provides IR support of OEM’s legacy AV devices. With its easy setup and similar interface with current IR remote controls today, Sigma’s SD3402 allows for quick interoperability with manufacturers and mass market adoption with consumers who currently own their devices.

More about the SD3402:

  • Features 20-30m of indoor non-line-of-sight range
  • Uses multi-channel support with concurrent listening which eliminates packet loss
  • Solves the RF interference problem by accessing the sub-1GHz band to avoid the crowded 2.4 GHz band and eliminate interference risk