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Z-Wave is about wireless solutions for residential and light commercial applications. The Z-Wave Alliance is an open consortium of over 160 manufacturers. Members include Cooper Wiring Devices, Danfoss, Fakro, In- gersoll-Rand, Intermatic, Leviton, Universal Electronics, Wayne-Dalton, Z-Wave and Zensys.

At the core is the Z-Wave protocol, developed by Zensys, a division of Sigma Designs. Sigma Designs provides embedded networking software and Z-Wave chip solutions for manufacturers and OEMs. The Z-Wave protocol stack is embedded in the chips, and flash memory is available application software. The standard is not open and is available only to Zensys/Sigma Design customers.

Z-Wave operates as a mesh network in the 900 MHz radio frequency range and is optimized for low-overhead commands such as on-off (as in a light switch or an appliance), with the ability to include device metadata in the communications.

Each device on the Z-wave network has an individual code or address. A single Z-wave network supports up to 232 devices. Multiple Z-wave networks can be combined via gateways. The controllers can be handheld remotes, wall panels, or an internet interface via a browser. Like some of the other wireless networks, Z-Wave is a mesh networking technology where each node or device on the network is capable of sending and receiving control commands. Z-Wave can also use power line communication technologies.

Z-Wave has a speed of 40 Kbit/s with a range of about 100 feet or 30 meters. The radio frequencies used include 900 MHz ISM band: 908.42MHz (United States), 868.42MHz (Europe), 919.82MHz (Hong Kong) and 921.42MHz (Australia/New Zealand).

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