A competitor to Bluetooth, Zigbee is a wireless standard that operates in the 2.4GHz band and is based on a combination of HomeRF Lite and the 802.15.4 specification. It is capable of networking up to 255 devices per network and operates at up to 250kbps at a distance up to 30 meters. Bluetooth operates at 1mbps. Zigbee chipsets cost less than half the price of Bluetooth chipsets at $2.50 and sport significantly lower power consumption. Uniband Electronic and ITE Tech will release chipsets to OEMs late in 2003. Philips Semiconductors, Honeywell, Mattel and Motorola currently have projects that utilize the standard. Bluetooth currently costs $7 to $10 and is expected to boottom out around $4. Zigbee could eventually cost less than $2 per chip. Zigbee is not expected to see adoption in some of the main current Bluetooth markets such as cellular phones and headsets, but will be used extensively in industrial applications and home automation.

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