Top Companies Form Alliance To Advance Wireless Data Technology

Michelin, Dow, Lockheed Martin’s Savi Technology, Texas Instruments and others are forming the DASH7 Alliance, a cross-industry initiative to expand the use of a wireless data technology commonly used in the global defense industry but increasingly used by commercial customers. The U.S. Department of Energy and three of its laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as the  University of Pittsburgh plan to serve as technical advisors.
 
The technology, based on the ISO 18000-7 standard, provides commercial and government users with the ability to track the whereabouts and status of a wide range of everyday objects, including vehicles, shipping containers, pharmaceutical products, hazardous materials, perishable goods and manufacturing and operational equipment.
 
The DASH7 Alliance will work to ensure cross-vendor interoperability as well as to promote greater use of the ISO 18000-7 wireless data standard, which is more cost effective, more reliable, and operates at lower power levels than ZigBee and similar wireless data technologies, according to the alliance. The DASH7 Alliance will also foster new wireless data innovations based on the standard, including advanced sensor networking, electronic seals, mobile phone integration, and other advances enabled through upcoming DASH7 developer resources available at www.dash7.org.
 
“As United States companies grow RFID technologies from their infancy into an industry, it is incredibly important to set a common standard for how all of these new applications are going to be designed and built,” said Dr. James Shuler, Manager of the United States Department of Energy’s Packaging Certification Program.
 
“In ABI’s opinion, the DASH7 Alliance is both timely and mission critical to growing the active UHF segment of the RFID market,” Michael Liard, Practice Director, RFID, of ABI Research, said in a just-released report entitled, “Introducing the DASH7 Alliance: Bringing Balance and Vision to Active RFID Markets.”  
 
“The DASH7 Alliance will bring stakeholders together to share and discuss ISO 18000-7 technical issues such as advancing the standard on a global scale, identify and eliminate potential gray areas, and share information about wins and pitfalls,” the ABI report stated. “The Alliance will also work to build applications on top of the core standard, including electronic seals, RTLS, sensing and monitoring, long distance communication, and more.”
 
Semiconductor manufacturers STMicroelectronics and Analog Devices plan to provide hardware developer toolkits that enable product innovations and enhance interoperability, and Texas Instruments also plans to be a DASH7 participant. The United States Department of Energy and three of its national laboratories, as well as the University of Pittsburgh, will provide technical advisory services for appropriate consultation and input, within their areas of expertise.
 
The University of Pittsburgh also plans to serve as the initial test and certification lab for DASH7-enabled products. After successfully completing DASH7 test and certification, alliance members will be able to deploy the “DASH7 Certified” logo on their products to demonstrate reliability and interoperability to prospective end users.

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