10 January 2012 – Leading global testing and compliance consultancy TRaC Global has today officially launched its multi-profile ZigBee Tracer test harness suite, a complete protocol toolkit designed to accelerate rapid product development.
As part of the announcement, made today at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, TRaC unveiled its first Tracer product focusing on the ZigBee Smart Energy (ZSE) profile.
The Tracer ZSE variant is a discrete and intuitive USB dongle which will allow manufacturers of ZigBee Smart Energy products to perform pre-testing of their designs at all stages of development providing the highest level of confidence that all test criteria have been met prior to the official certification test.
Tracer ZSE will emulate a device type within the smart energy ecosystem sending programmed signals to the manufacturer’s product verifying its functionality. It will also provide the user with an instant pass or fail verdict allowing for changes to be made where necessary.
TRaC is an official ZigBee Alliance Recognised Test House and has been working closely with the organisation to develop its smart energy profiles over the past five years. Paul Russell, director of TRaC, commented: “With the increased adoption and roll out of smart energy devices across the world, it was an obvious choice for us to focus our first Tracer product on addressing this popular technology.”
TRaC’s Tracer has a simple graphic user interface for ease of use and clarity across both in-lab and remote pre-testing. Two versions of the Tracer are available to suit the level of functionality required. The lite version allows the designer to perform test cases and determine compliance providing confidence and a fundamental verdict assessment while the professional version allows for in-depth debugging analysis and development and offers customised testing.
The Tracer ZSE supports all Zigbee Smart Energy device types including Energy Service Portals (ESI), In Home Displays (IHD) and Meters (MTR).
Nicholas Gommersall, MD of Telegesis, which provided the module for the new Tracer, commented: “We are very excited to be involved with TRaC’s new Tracer test harness. Our module combined with TRaC’s software and expertise creates a new and unique proposition for smart energy manufacturers.”
Ember has provided the chips for the Tracer, Skip Ashton, Senior VP of Engineering said: “As the market leader in low power wireless networking solutions for the Connected Home including smart energy, we believe compliance testing and certification companies such as TRaC play a critical role helping OEMs develop their products.”
As a ZigBee Alliance Recognised Test House, TRaC has a high level of protocol experience having contributed to the development of ZigBee’s profile standards through its involvement in the ZigBee Qualification Group (ZQG) and ZigBee Smart Energy (ZSE) Working Group.
ZigBee Alliance members will be able to pick up a free of charge demo unit at CES, which supports a limited number of test cases to provide an overview of the capabilities of the device. The demo can then be exchanged for a full product* with a 20 per cent discount within six weeks of the CES event.
Paul added: “We want to help our customers develop their products quickly by providing high confidence in pre-certification to save them time and money.”
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