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Home Networking Technology Alliance Formed


Five local R&D organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to form a technology alliance, called R&Bnet@Home1, to develop Home Networking solutions. The Alliance will develop Home Networking solutions ...

Five local R&D organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to form a technology alliance, called R&Bnet@Home1, to develop Home Networking solutions. The Alliance will develop Home Networking solutions using infrared and radio frequency ('Bluetooth') technologies to provide high-speed wireless access to information from homes. The MOU signing ceremony was hosted by the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS).

The R&Bnet@Home Alliance comprises Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL), Nanyang Technological University's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE), Centre for Signal Processing (CSP), Institute of Microelectronics (IME) and Parallax Research Pte Ltd, a local high-tech start-up company. All the agencies are considered industry leaders in their respective core-competencies. This alliance allows these partners to leverage on each other's knowledge base and intellectual property to drive a market-focussed project with technological and commercial objectives.

TAS facilitated the formation of this alliance in line with its overall development strategy for the local infocommunications industry. This strategy aims to elevate the profile of the local infocommunications industry from one of an early adopter of technologies to that of an active innovator and owner of technologies. Recognising the importance of ownership of intellectual property especially in the dynamic infocommunications industry, TAS has encouraged the alliance partners to create a patent pool which can benefit the local industry. TAS will work with the National Science and Technology Board (NSTB) and other government agencies to nurture and promote the alliance.

Commenting on the formation of the R&Bnet@Home alliance, Mr Leong Keng Thai, Director-General of TAS said, "The nation-wide availability of a world-class broadband infrastructure (Singapore ONE) has put tremendous bandwidth capacity at the doorstep of Singapore homes. The R&BNet@Home alliance takes this a step further and makes seamless and wireless access possible within homes. It opens the doors for the creation of smart consumer appliances which will not only communicate with each other but will also be able to connect to the Internet via Singapore ONE. This will enable a whole host of multimedia applications and services being made available to consumers."

Dr Juzar Motiwalla from KRDL believes that "Internet appliances will soon transform the way information is used and accessed. The deployment of new broadband wireless systems, especially Infrared and Bluetooth networking technologies for the home, will move the fast-paced Internet revolution to the next frontier. KRDL is honoured to host this alliance of companies, each having their own significant and complementary capabilities. Together with our industry and research partners, KRDL will move the alliance toward developing technologies for strategic global markets."

Two teams from Nanyang Technological University will work on the relatively upstream R&D activities. While the EEE seeks to push up the access speeds by developing photonic transceivers for infrared, CSP will complement the effort by developing digital signal processing algorithms for system enhancement.

"IME has been developing the know-how & technologies in microelectronics from signal processing chip-set to protocol and system implementations on integrated circuits. IME recognises a growing trend in Bluetooth technology with the access of high quality digital media and would like to contribute our expertise in these areas by working with the industry and eventually make Singapore a hub for communication related Research & Development." said Dr Bill Chen, Director of IME.

Parallax Research, a high-tech start-up company, based at the NTU Innovation Centre, is a leading developer of infrared solutions to the global market. It sees vast commercialisation potential in the specific R&D activities that each member organisation is contributing to this new wireless technology for broadband home networks. Having been involved in several wireless data communication projects, Parallax Research is poised, together with the alliance partners, to ensure the pervasiveness of this new technology and bring a wireless broadband network into every home as we approach the new millennium.

Mr Hari Ramachandran, CEO, Parallax Research envisions "a world's first nation-wide, high-speed wireless multimedia service that will position Singapore at the centre of international cyber trade-routes."

The alliance welcomes new partners who can add value to the technology development and commercialisation activities - especially in the areas of product engineering, manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Interested parties may contact Mr Lee Kok Seng of KRDL at tel: (65)874-6671 or email:

1 R&B denotes the InfraRed and Bluetooth-based technologies used in the development of home networking solutions.

Notes to the Editor:

1. The Mission of the R&Bnet@Home Alliance is:

  • To conduct focused R&D and commercialisation of technologies to provide short-range ubiquitous wireless connectivity for information access to a networked environment for consumer market.

2. The overall objectives of the R&Bnet@Home project are:

  • To define and prototype an architecture that will integrate Infrared and Bluetooth network technology for providing communication links for multimedia services at home.
  • To conduct development for directed infrared and focussed research in sensor, transceiver and protocol for diffused infrared technology.
  • To conduct development in RF transceiver, base-band processing and protocol for Bluetooth technology.
  • To focus on targeting the solution initially for home market.

3. Bluetooth is a radio frequency standard for high-speed wireless connectivity and operates in the 2.4GHz frequency band. It is promoted by major international equipment vendors including Ericsson, Nokia, Lucent Technologies, Toshiba.

Media Contacts:

Ms Chia Sher Ling
Assistant Manager (Corporate Relations)
Telecommunication Authority of Singapore
Tel: 322-1840, Fax: 323-0941

Ms Elizabeth Su
Kent Ridge Digital Labs
Tel: 874-8802, Fax: 874-7588

Dr Lam Yee Loy
Associate Professor
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 790-4503

Dr Ng Boon Poh
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Signal Processing
Tel: 790-5943

Mr Sia Sze Keok
Account Manager
Tel: 770-5339

Mr Hanick Tan
Senior Marketing Executive
Parallax Research
Tel: 791-7388 ext 22