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Z-Wave Microchips – Here Comes The Next Smart Home Generation
10. January 2018

This week, the CES Consumer Electronics Show will take place in Las Vegas, and Z-Wave is going strong. More than 30 Z-Wave brands exhibit at the largest booth in the entire “Sands Expo Convention Center”. In addition, some experts inform about the Z-Wave technology. The first highlight was already presented before the show. The Z-Wave chip manufacturer Sigma Designs introduced the latest Z-Wave generation.

The “700 series” chips are especially interesting for sensors. Therewith, Sigma Designs releases the third Z-Wave highlight in a year after the S2 security framework and SmartStart installation. All these innovations make the Z-Wave Smart Home safer, simpler, more intelligent and, above all, more user-friendly.

What are the 700 chips for?

As befits a new chip platform, the focus is on increasing performance and technological progress. The Z-Wave 700 is primarily about improving energy efficiency and boosting RF power. The wireless connected home – and thus also Z-Wave – is characterized by battery-operated devices. These are mostly sensors whose values make the connected home safer and more comfortable. The new 700 chips series will significantly improve the performance of battery-operated devices and make their values usable for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems.

New products thanks to new chips

According to Sigma Designs, Z-Wave 700 will enable a new generation of sensor-based products. The chip manufacturer’s reasons for this are an increase in battery life, faster response times and longer ranges. Thus, Sigma Designs has taken on the biggest criticisms of Z-Wave sensors. Despite the fact that many sensor batteries have an average service life of around two years, many users are still bothered by the frequent and likewise expensive replacement of the batteries. Also, battery-operated devices cannot transmit the Z-Wave signal (routing) because this needs too much energy. So, a longer range helps to make the Z-Wave network more stable.

With the improvements caused by the Z-Wave 700 chips, it will also be possible to develop completely new small products for home networking at low cost in the future.

Rapid development – Old strengths

With the introduction of the 700 platform, SmartStart setup will also become obligatory. SmartStart was introduced some time ago and makes it possible to quickly and easily include and set up Z-Wave devices into a network. Of course, the Security 2 (S2) framework is also supported, which makes Z-Wave the safest Smart Home wireless technology and has to be implemented in all newly certified Z-Wave devices since April 2017.
Despite constant innovation and development, Z-Wave retains one of its greatest advantages, interoperability and compatibility between all manufacturers/brands and products – whether new, 5 or 10 years old. No other Smart Home technology is able to offer this.

The first products with the new 700 series chips will be ready in the middle of the year.

Advantages of the Z-Wave 700 platform:

  • Low energy consumption: Significantly longer battery life of more than 10 years (with coin cell)
  • Longer range: More than 90 meters range enables integration of several floors and outdoor areas into the home automation network
  • Low cost: Fast and cost-effective development and production of new Z-Wave products
  • High performance: Faster and more energy efficient thanks to ARM-based chip platform and increased storage capacity
  • Secure and innovative: Highest security thanks to Security 2 (S2) framework, easy installation thanks to Z-Wave SmartStart setup
  • Interoperable: Certified downward compatibility to all Z-Wave generations


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