NTS News Center

Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS Releases RC2Test harness for ZigBee Remote Control 2.0

NTS has announced the release of our NTS RC2Test test harness for the development, certification, and pre-testing of ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 (ZRC2) devices.

The RC2Test is the first tool available for the ZRC2 specification and was used to validate ZigBee’s test specifications, as well as the Golden Units for the ZigBee Remote Control 2.0 specification. These Golden Units are the reference devices by which all future ZRC2 devices will be compared for interoperability and conformance.

RC2Test provides manufacturers with a test tool that emulates the various ZigBee Remote Control devices, as well as scripts used to validate a device to the ZRC2 application profile. It includes the ability to write your own test scripts, making it flexible and expandable to cover more than just ZigBee required tests. Prior to submitting a product for certification, you can utilize the same tool used internally by NTS in the performance of ZigBee certification tests.


Check out this short video of one of our test harnesses!

ZigBee Remote Control provides a global standard for easy-to-use RF remotes that remove line-of-sight restrictions, while also delivering two-way communication, longer range of use and extended battery life. It offers more flexibility such as control of devices from nearby rooms and placement of those devices almost anywhere – including behind wood, interior walls or glass. It was designed for a variety of consumer electronic devices including HDTV, home theater equipment, set-top boxes and other audio equipment.

NTS-AT encourages you to contact us should you have any questions about the test harness, ZigBee certification, or your product development. Call 800.879.9225 or visit the NTS-AT website for more information.

NTS Creates Comprehensive Smart Suite Certification Testing for Smart Energy Devices

Covers new areas required by utilities but outside normal certification requirement

NTS is now offering a comprehensive certification program for Smart Energy devices that includes new areas identified by major utility companies as vital for new products in Smart Grid networks that are not covered by existing certification testing.

The new Smart Suite Certification Program, which extends NTS’ leadership in the growing Smart Energy certification testing market, is divided into three parts, each focusing on key components that are highly important in the selection of Smart Energy devices for utilities:

  • iSmart – The NTS iSmart Certification focuses on interoperability testing to verify that these devices will function correctly with other devices. Testing covers negative, corner, functional, and other test cases not covered by standard certification testing.
  • rSmart – The NTS rSmart Certification focuses on the RF (radiofrequency) performance of Smart Energy devices. Testing covers transmission and receiving power, robustness to interference, and the impact of building materials on the performance of these devices.
  • sSmart – The NTS sSmart Certification focuses on the security of these devices. Testing covers validation of trust center and security keys to make sure that communications via the protocol are secure.

National Technical Systems (NTS) Completes ZigBee Smart Energy Certification Testing for SimpleHomeNet Appliance

National Technical Systems (NTS) Completes ZigBee Smart Energy Certification Testing for SimpleHomeNet Appliance
Rapidly Expanding Smart Grid Compliance Testing Market Is Key NTS Initiative

CALABASAS, Calif., June 4, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –National Technical Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTSC) (NTS), a leading provider of engineering services, announced today that it recently completed ZigBee Smart Energy certification testing for a feature-rich, wireless electric load controller manufactured by SimpleHomeNet, a division of Compacta International. The tests were run at the NTS laboratory in Culver City, CA. Following completion of the certification tests, the ZigBee Alliance reviewed the test results submitted by NTS and the application submitted by SimpleHomeNet and certified the load controller.
NTS is the market leader in ZigBee smart energy certification testing and one of only three companies worldwidewith rights designated by the ZigBee Alliance to test wireless products for ZigBee Smart Energy certification. Completion of the certification tests for SimpleHomeNet is another example of NTS’ expanding leadership in the burgeoning testing market for ZigBee Smart Energy.
ZigBee Smart Energy is the market leading wireless home area network (HAN) standard with more than 40 million smart meters being installed around the world. Last year, it was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an initial interoperable standard for HAN devices. ZigBee has also been adopted by over 350 global manufacturers andthere is a large total potential market of 1.5 billion devices that could be installed in homes worldwide for energy management and demand response, according to a recently published report by ON World.
Smart energy device testing is a rapidly expanding global industry and a growing market for NTS,said NTS Chief Executive Office William McGinnis. The U.S. Department of Energy has allocated $30 billion as part of a national energy initiative backed by national utility companies, which is expected toencourage the development and certification of a broad range of smart energy products McGinnis said.
ZigBee Smart Energy certification demonstrates that a wireless product such as a load controller, or other wireless device, is compliant with the ZigBee Smart Energy standard that was created by energy experts and ZigBee Alliance members. ZigBee members include Ember, Freescale, Texas Instruments, Landis & Gyr, Itron, Cisco, General Electric, Honeywell, Intel, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Philips, Samsung Electronics, Siemens, Sony and many other leading corporations around the world.
“This is already a large, rapidly growing market and an expanding list of companies is committed to the smart energy path, which we believe is a good opportunity for us,” McGinnis added. “We not only provide the test services, but we also design the test tools to simulate the functions of the appliances that allow our clients to do self-testing. We have a full solution for our clients with software testing and validation and multiple engineering services.”
Remotely controlled, wireless appliances such as thermostats, meters, load controllers, pool pumps, water heaters and display units designed for homeowners as part of a HAN are key components of a smart grid created to reduce energy usage, increase reliability and cut costs for consumers, said NTS Chief Technology Officer Osman Sakr. The NTS testing demonstrates that the appliances work together properly and can accurately show how much energy is being used, thereby allowing a consumer to manage energy efficiently.
Al Choperena, President and CEO of Compacta International, said the NTS testing and ZigBee Smart Energy certification of its load controller “is a key milestone in our ZigBee product roadmap and signals our strong commitment to the future of the smart grid. To date, our certification efforts have been on track thanks to our ongoing partnership with NTS.”

The start-up coffee run is coming to an end

No more going for coffee while waiting for your computer to startup

Sometimes all we need from our computer is email and the internet. I know many mornings I grow tired of waiting for my computer to load up the operating system along with all the support files (drivers, DLLs, Systray applications, etc.), just so I can check the weather before I take my dogs outside. However, that long wait will be a thing of the past very shortly.

Several vendors over the last year have released (or are working on) Instant-On operating systems which will provide just the basic foundations to allow the user to access their email, surf the web, and maybe chat with Skype. Instant-On OS’s aren’t designed to replace full operating systems, like Windows or MacOS X or Linux. Rather, they’re designed to provide quick access, some while the full operating system is loading in the background. The technology started a few years ago with Phoenix Technologies’ HyperSpace embedded operating system, and has just accelerated over the last few years with competitors such as Splashtop, gOS Cloud, Xandros Presto!, JoliCloud, Moblin, and MSI Winki. Rumor has it that Microsoft is even considering an Instant-On feature for Windows 7.

Why? It just makes sense – our computers may be able to do everything but walk the dog, but they take a while to startup. And although many of us like to keep our computers on or in standby/hibernation, that takes a fair amount of electricity. With all the push for smart energy, it’s the solution to a problem – Do I leave my computer on draining power or turn it off and get stuck waiting 5-10 minutes for it to startup? With some of these products offering 15 second startups, you’ll have no more waiting and no more energy drain!

And you’ll have to find some other time to go get your coffee.