About Zigbee

ZigBee® is the low-power wireless technology designed to address all short range wireless communication market requirements: long battery life, low cost, good indoor range (similar to WiFi), one worldwide-used frequency band (2.4 GHz), and small antenna size. ZigBee® specification offers full mesh networking capable of supporting thousands of devices on a single network. The low cost allows the technology to be widely deployed in wireless control and monitoring applications. ZigBee® standards are used by product manufacturers in a variety of applications, including:
  • ZigBee® Home Automation (Smart homes)
  • ZigBee® Smart Energy (Home energy savings)
  • ZigBee® Light Link (LED lighting control)
  • ZigBee® Health Care (Health and fitness monitoring)
  • ZigBee® Remote Control (Advanced remote controls)
  • and others

ZigBee® is the only standard based on low power, low cost technology for monitoring and control of the widest range of devices impacting our daily lives. Today, with hundreds of devices certified, and many more being added every day, the market is proving the worth of this technology, and brining that value to customers.

The first version of the standard was released by ZigBee® Alliance in May 2004, now referred to as ZigBee-2004 (in some old documents ZigBee-2003). The current protocol version is ZigBee® 2012 and it continues to grow: new standards are being added and provided feature set is being extended. Currently, technology allows developing of a wide variety of different gadgets, from tiny battery-less devices (GreenPower feature) to full functioning gateway devices with multi-functioning universal control equipment (Home Automation, Smart Energy). ZigBee® continues to evolve towards profiles interoperability, helping manufactures promote their ZigBee-based devices.

Material from Wikipedia:

ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh network standard. The low cost allows the technology to be widely deployed in wireless control and monitoring applications. Low power-usage allows longer life with smaller batteries. Mesh networking provides high reliability and more extensive range. ZigBee chip vendors typically sell integrated radios and microcontrollers with between 60 KB and 256 KB flash memory.

ZigBee operates in the industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands; 868 MHz in Europe, 915 MHz in the USA and Australia, and 2.4 GHz in most jurisdictions worldwide. Data transmission rates vary from 20 to 250 kilobits/second.

The ZigBee network layer natively supports both star and tree typical networks, and generic mesh networks. Every network must have one coordinator device, tasked with its creation, the control of its parameters and basic maintenance. Within star networks, the coordinator must be the central node. Both trees and meshes allows the use of ZigBee routers to extend communication at the network level.

ZigBee protocol stack

ZigBee builds upon the physical layer and medium access control defined in IEEE standard 802.15.4 (2003 version) for low-rate WPAN's. The specification goes on to complete the standard by adding four main components: network layer, application layer, ZigBee device objects (ZDOs) and manufacturer-defined application objects which allow for customization and favor total integration.

Besides adding two high-level network layers to the underlying structure, the most significant improvement is the introduction of ZDO's. These are responsible for a number of tasks, which include keeping of device roles, management of requests to join a network, device discovery and security.

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