Wireless networking technology expansion
February 01, 2009
Spotlight on the RF4CE Consortium and WiMAX Forum
The common TV remote is about to make a big leap forward in capability. Although most remote controls use infrared technology to communicate commands to controlled devices, no Radio Frequency (RF) remote control standard currently exists for audio/visual consumer electronics devices. However, increased demand for advanced functionality that cannot be supported by existing infrared technology has led to the formation of the RF for Consumer Electronics (RF4CE) Consortium.
With the goal of developing an RF platform that allows omnidirectional and reliable two-way wireless communication, the RF4CE Consortium recently created a new protocol to facilitate the development of RF remote controls that deliver richer communication, increased reliability, and more flexible use. RF remote controls enable non line-of-sight operation and provide more advanced features based on bidirectional communication such as display feedback, creating an enhanced entertainment experience. The new RF remote control standard will be based on IEEE 802.15.4 MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed frequency band, which enables worldwide operation, low power consumption, and instantaneous response time.
The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, nonprofit organization formed to certify and promote broadband wireless products' compatibility and interoperability based on the harmonized IEEE 802.16/ETSI HiperMAN standard. Aiming to accelerate the introduction of these systems in the marketplace, the WiMAX Forum strives to guarantee that WiMAX Forum Certified products are interoperable and support broadband fixed, nomadic, portable, and mobile services. The organization also works closely with service providers and regulators to ensure that WiMAX Forum Certified systems meet customer and government requirements.
In September, the WiMAX Forum launched its Interactive Deployment Database, a comprehensive resource featuring more than 300 WiMAX deployments throughout the world. Powered by Informa Telecoms & Media's World Cellular Information Service (WCIS) database, the Interactive Deployment Database highlights WiMAX operators, including the most recent statistics on worldwide WiMAX deployments. Available for public use at www.wimaxmaps.org, this tool includes detailed information on each of the operators, stage and type of deployment, spectrum utilized, and more.
As automobiles have become prime multimedia centers for consumers, getting multiple infotainment devices to work together in an automotive environment has become challenging for designers.
Media-Oriented Systems Transport (MOST) is the de facto standard for multimedia and infotainment networking in the automotive industry. The technology was designed from the ground up to provide an efficient and cost-effective fabric that transmits audio, video, data, and control information among devices attached to the harsh environment of an automobile. Although its roots are in the automotive industry, MOST can be used in additional applications such as other forms of transportation, audio/visual networking, security, and industrial environments.
The MOST Cooperation consists of numerous international carmakers and component suppliers that standardize and refine the technology so that it continues to stay abreast of the latest requirements. The organization supported the first MOST Forum (www.mostforum.com) on September 30 in Stuttgart. More than 140 attendees gathered at the event to learn about recent applications and future infotainment trends.