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Top CE, IC firms forge RF remote control consortium

Posted: 17 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF remote control? consumer electronics? IR technology?

Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corp., Panasonic, Freescale Semiconductors, OKI and Texas Instruments have formed the RF4CE (Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics) Consortium to create a new protocol that will enable the development of RF remote controls that deliver richer communication, increased reliability and more flexible use.

Most existing remote controls use infrared technology to communicate commands to controlled devices.

While no RF remote control standard currently exists for audio visual CE devices, increased demand for advanced functionality that cannot be supported by existing IR technology has led to the formation of the RF4CE Consortium. RF remote controls enable non line-of-sight operation and the technology also provides more advanced features based on bidirectional communications such as display feedback for an enhanced entertainment experience.

The new RF remote control standard will be based on IEEE 802.15.4. MAC/PHY radio technology in the 2.4GHz unlicensed frequency band, which enables worldwide operation, low power consumption and instantaneous response time. The RF4CE Consortium aims to develop a RF platform that allows omni-directional and reliable two-way wireless communication, frequency agility to co-exist with other 2.4GHz wireless technologies, simple security set-up and configuration.

"The initial applications of the RF remote control standard in new devices will be similar to the current IR technology, however this platform will open up the possibilities for much richer remote control functionality in the future," said Bas Driesen, chairperson, RF4CE Consortium. "Unifying the resources of Philips, Samsung, Sony and Panasonic together with Freescale, OKI and TI is a big undertaking. The formation of the RF4CE Consortium is testimony to how important RF technology is for the consumer electronics industry."

The RF4CE specification is due to be launched in 2H 08 and will be accessible to all interested parties.

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