HVAC Breaking News

June 5, 2009: Companies Partner to Bring Wi-Fi-enabled Thermostats to Market

LAS VEGAS and LOS GATOS, Calif. - GainSpan® Corp., a provider of low power Wi-Fi semiconductor solutions, Radio Thermostat Company of America (RTCOA), a provider of programmable communicating thermostats, and Our Home Spaces, a supplier of energy management solutions for homeowners and developer of iPhone™ applications, have joined forces to bring Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats to market. GainSpan’s semiconductor technology powers a module that plugs into an RTCOA thermostat to enable it for Wi-Fi, allowing users to remotely control it.

One of RTCOA’s communicating thermostats, the CT80, was featured at the Interop Expo in Las Vegas, where GainSpan conducted demonstrations of the thermostat being controlled from an iPhone.

“The collaboration among our companies has enabled the development of a solution that is easy to provision and install for the typical consumer, yet highly secure,” said Bernard Aboussouan, VP of marketing, GainSpan. “GainSpan will extend the availability of low power Wi-Fi technology to other devices, such as water heaters and load shedding devices that can be easily installed and controlled locally or remotely through a Wi-Fi enabled iPhone, iPod touch®, smartphone, PDA or PC.”

“Our customer feedback indicates that low power Wi-Fi technology will be the communication technology of choice for consumers as most are already equipped with Wi-Fi access points and devices,” said Dan Goodman, CTO of RTCOA. “Wi-Fi is now everywhere, consumers are familiar with it, and installation is very simple and secure. Also, GainSpan’s ultra low power technology allows us to bring battery-powered thermostats to market using the same Wi-Fi module, providing consumers with simple installation in retrofit applications.”

“With the new RTCOA thermostat, consumers can dynamically monitor and control their home energy usage wherever they are,” said Janet Peterson, CEO, Our Home Spaces. “This capability empowers consumers and makes it extremely easy for them to minimize energy usage, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint.”

RTCOA’s Wi-Fi-enabled CT80 is a three-stage heat, two-stage cool, programmable communicating thermostat integrating two communicating modules. The modules conform to an industry standard being developed by the U-SNAP Alliance whose mission is to ensure compatibility of devices as the smart grid extends into homes. Modules can be snapped into a thermostat or other appliance, allowing users to integrate devices into existing home area networks using Wi-Fi or other communications protocols, and enabling devices to be easily upgraded as technology evolves.

The Wi-Fi module in the CT80 thermostat is powered by GainSpan’s GS1010 system-on-chip (SOC), a low power Wi-Fi semiconductor solution. The GS1010 contains an 802.11 radio, media access controller (MAC), baseband processor, on-chip flash memory and SRAM, and an applications processor in a single package. It provides a scalable and secure wireless link for sensor networks and other applications.

RTCOA’s CT80 is available through multiple channels of distribution, including wholesale HVAC distributors, specialty distributors, value added resellers, and retail outlets such as Home Depot. The CT80 is already shipping and the low power Wi-Fi module will start shipping mid-summer.

For more information about Radio Thermostat Company of America, visit www.radiothermostat.com. For more information about GainSpan, visit www.gainspan.com. For more information about Our Home Spaces, visit www.ourhomespaces.com.

Publication date: 06/01/2009

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