Freescale Semiconductor's model MC13193 ZigBee-enabled platform scored high marks in L.S. Research's evaluation tests by achieving over 378 meters (1240 feet) of range without the aid of external power amplifiers or low noise amplifiers. The recently ratified first version of the ZigBee specification (see above) cites expected ranges of 10 to 70 m under low-power operation. According to John Tepley, vice president of sales and marketing for L.S. Research, "These results are a significant proof point toward enabling true home automation and industrial control applications using ZigBee technology."

L.S. Research used the MC13193 Evaluation Kit (13193EVK-A00). The kit contains the necessary hardware and software to demonstrate and develop ZigBee solutions based on the IEEE 802.15.4 compliant MC13192 and the MC13193 ZigBee transceiver. According to Brett Black, commercial wireless operations manager for Freescale, "The performance results of our ZigBee platform show our continued leadership and commitment to bringing a comprehensive ZigBee solution to enable OEMs to quickly meet market demands." The MC13193 Evaluation Kit (13193EVK-A00) is available for a suggested resale price of $1499.00. The model MC13193 RF transceiver is available at a suggested resale price of $3.26 in 10,000 piece quantities.

In support of the evaluation kit, Freescale also announced a new wireless design content called "Wireless Design Challenge." The contest runs through April 27, 2005 and encourages designers to demonstrate unique applications of wireless networking design based on Freescale's ZigBee platform. Winning entries will be judged based on technical merit, originality, usefulness, cost-effectiveness and design optimization, in equal measure. For more information and official rules regarding the Wireless Design Challenge web site. Freescale Semiconductor --> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eA0JtlqC0Gth0BNeX0As Design contest --> http://lists.planetee.com/cgi-bin3/DM/y/eA0JtlqC0Gth0BNeY0At