This page last changed on Sep 13, 2005 by sbannasch.


Zigbee is a specification, implementation and a certfying mechanism for very low power wireless networks built on top of the IEE 802.15.4 standard.

Zigbee Alliance
Zigbee FAQ

IEEE 802.15.4 Working Group
The IEEE 802.15 TG4 was chartered to investigate a low data rate solution with multi-month to multi-year battery life and very low complexity. It is operating in an unlicensed, international frequency band.  Potential applications are sensors, interactive toys, smart badges, remote controls, and home automation.

Comparison to Bluetooth (from a poster on Slashdot):
  • Zigbee is power efficient. A ZigBee switch should be able to run off watch batteries for years. BLUETOOTH - HA!
  • Zigbee stack is small 28k. Bluetooth's stack is 250k.
  • Zigbee networks can support up to 255 nodes, and can be switched to 16 bit addressing to support 65,000 nodes. Bluetooth can have 8 active nodes, 255 total.
  • Zigbee range is around 30 meters. Bluetooth is 10 meters.
  • Zigbee supports three network topologies (star, mesh, cluster tree). Bluetooth supports a dynamic piconet topology.
  • Zigbee enabled devices can be built cheaply. Bluetooth was supposed to be cheap. This is due to the short stack.
Open Source Software:
  • TinyOS
    TinyOS is an open-source operating system designed for wireless embedded sensor networks. It features a component-based architecture which enables rapid innovation and implementation while minimizing code size as required by the severe memory constraints inherent in sensor networks.
Zigbee Products:
  • MaxStream XBee family
  • Crossbow: Motes, Smart Dust Sensors, Wireless Sensor Networks
    Crossbow makes the boards that the Berkely group runs TinyOS on. From their site: Crossbow supports a wide range of hardware and sensors designed for various customer requirements. The majority of the hardware is plug-and-play, and all of the components are intended to operate using the open-source TinyOS operating system. The hardware platform consists of Processor/Radio boards (MPR) commonly referred to as MOTES. These battery-powered devices run TinyOS and support two-way mesh radio networks. Sensor and data acquisition cards (MTS and MDA) mate directly to the Mote Processor Radio boards. The industries widest range of sensor support includes both direct sensing as well as interfaces for external sensors.
  • Luxoft Labs: Zigbee Development Kit
    Luxoft Labs modular Developer Kit is specifically designed for professional developers tasked with creation of intelligent, robust wireless solutions. The Developer Kit provides comprehensive set of components, tools and software necessary to quickly build complete applications. Expandable hardware architecture gives you real flexibility of selection between alternative combinations of MCU?s, radios, sensors and actuators. TinyOS based ZigBee stack implementation provides full support of additional hardware components and easy to extend if you need to develop proprietary algorithms. It?s worth to mention about big ever growing TinyOS community that brings you numerous free of charge features and component
Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:56