Your RF Cafe
Up until fairly recently ZigBee and WLAN together were believed by pundits to be a low data rate and high data rate, respectively, replacement for Bluetooth. Now, it appears ZigBee will be carving out a niche below and overlapping with Bluetooth integration opportunities. As a cheaper to manufacture and simpler to integrate platform, ZigBee is making rapid advancements. User groups are still hashing out details, and like with Bluetooth, ZigBee will certainly undergo a second round of specification tweaking once enough models are deployed in consumer products to gain significant feedback.
Pricing appears to be in the $1 target range, which does make ZigBee more attractive then Bluetooth where application do not require more than a few 10s of kbps data. One big advantage ZigBee has over Bluetooth is a sleep mode that keeps battery drain to a minimum and allows some applications to go for years between battery changes. The links listed here will get you started in your quest for ZigBee technology information.
According to the ZigBee Alliance, it derives its name from the zigzag path of bees that serves to signal a new food source to other members of the colony. The bee's survival depends on the continuous communication of information between every member of the colony.
Atmel | atmel.com
Crossbow Technology | xbow.com
Ember | ember.com
FlexiPanel | flexipanel.com
Freescale Semiconductor | freescale.com
GreenPeak Technologies | greenpeak.com
Helicomm | helicomm.com
Microchip | microchip.com
NTS | ntscorp.com
Radiocrafts AS | radiocrafts.com
Radiotronix | radiotronix.com
Renesas Technology Corp | america.renesas.com
Silicon Laboratories Inc | silabs.com
Telegesis | telegesis.com
ZMD | zmd.biz