What is ZigBee® RF4CE?

Technologies ZigBee 

What is Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics (RF4CE)?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Jul 6, 2019

Radio Frequency for Consumer Electronics (RF4CE) is a radio frequency standard that was created for remote control devices for consumer electronics. The technology is based on 2.4 GHz IEEE® 802.15.4 MAC/PHY radio technology. 

ZigBee RF4CE was introduced to replace IR remote control technology and overcome its limitations like interoperability, line-of-sight, and limited features. The specification creates a remote control network layer that allows for simple, low-power, low-latency communication for a wide range of products including home entertainment devices, garage door openers and keyless entry systems, based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification. It provides two-way RF communication that ensures interoperability between remote controls and audio/visual (A/V) devices.

The RF4CE specification was standardized in 2009 by a consortium that includes Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Samsung. And is now a part of ZigBee Alliance®.

Characteristics of Zigbee RF4CE Include:

  • Operation in the 2.4 GHz frequency band according to IEEE 802.15.4
  • Co-existence with other 2.4 GHz technologies
  • Frequency agile solution operating over three channels
  • Incorporates power saving mechanisms for all device classes
  • Discovery mechanism with full application confirmation
  • Pairing mechanism with full application confirmation
  • Multiple star topology with inter-personal area network (PAN) communication
  • Various transmission options including broadcast
  • Security key generation mechanism
  • Utilizes the industry standard AES-128 security scheme
  • Specifies a simple remote control profile for consumer electronics products
  • Support Alliance developed standards or manufacturer specific profiles