Posts Tagged ‘zigbee’

What Every RF Engineer Should Know: ZigBee

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Looks like Zigbee still has some time before taking off… “From a revenue standpoint, the volume of metering applications should remain limited to field trials in 2009 with a larger production ramp in 2010”

ZigBee is a hot topic on the RF DesignLine, so I had a virtual “sit down” with some leaders in the industry to see where the technology is, and where they think it is going. The following article includes some of the thoughts and remarks of Emmanuel Sambuis, marketing manager for TI’s Low Power RF products; Jeff Miller, Product Manager, Tanner EDA; and Ravi Sharma, Director of Marketing for Ember.

After the interview, I’ve included some links to some of the most popular ZigBee articles on the site.

RFDL: What is the status of the technology? Sharma: ZigBee has matured into a robust and reliable standard and has become the wireless technology of choice for the utilities in implementing smart metering for demand response and energy management as well as in home automation, monitoring and security. ZigBee shipments in the past two years have been in the millions, in applications including in-home displays, light, climate and media controls, smart meters and home security to name a few. The ZigBee Alliance now boasts a membership in excess of 300 companies from around the world.

Source: RFDesignline

DataNet Wireless Data Acquisition System

Friday, December 26th, 2008

The DataNet is a professional wireless data acquisition system using the Zigbee wireless protocol. Consisting of a USB base station, DataNet acquisition units, repeater units and the DataNet PC Suite logging software. The acquisition units have 4 inputs for direct measurement of PT-100, thermocouple, voltage 4-20mA, frequency and pulse. There is also a version with the addition of built-in temperature and humidity sensors.

Source: Audon Electronics

802.15.4 vs ZigBee

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008


The Wireless Sensor Network Research group (WSNRG) has published a new article titled 802.15.4 vs ZigBee which to help people to clarify with all the communications technologies which are used in the WSN field: 802.15.4, ZigBee, Mesh protocols, 2.4GHz, 868MHz and 900MHz bands… This first document compares both *IEEE 802.15.4* and *ZigBee* technologies and explains its main characteristics.

Read more on this article at Sensor Networks.Org

Wireless Arduino programming with ZigBee

Thursday, November 13th, 2008


ZigBee is a low-power communication system using digital radios. It’s intended to be easier to work with than Bluetooth. Adafruit recently added an adapter board for Digi’s XBee product line and has put together a great how-to to show the devices potential. Using two XBee radios and adapters you can wirelessly program an Arduino board. This would be great if your Arduino was installed in an inaccessible area or maybe it’s over 100feet away from where you’re working. The radios do serial communication just fine. What the how-to covers is getting the reset line working so the Arduino can restart automatically after you program it. Once the radio pair is configured properly, it will pass the RTS line state directly from one device to the other.

Source: Hack a day

Open Source Zigbee Stack

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 Many RF technologies are competing on 2.4GHz. The WLAN and Bluetooth have dominated the consumer wireless market. Zigbee is getting hotter in the mesh network application as well. More and more chip vendors have released their new products for Zigbee. TI/Chipcon, Freescale, Microchip, Atmel, Slilabs and Amber are active in Zigbee market. Zigbee is a wireless mesh network; its initial investment is much higher than an individual microcontroller based application. A serious development on a Zigbee project must include ICs, the Zigbee stack, the application software in the network nodes and the network administration software for the control terminals.

In September 2007, TI announced that it opened its fully functional Zigbee stack, Z-stack to the developers. Every registered developer can download the source code from the web site for free of charge. It was a shock to this market. Before this open source promotion, the quotation of this certificated Z-Stack source code was 100K USD.

Z-Stack can be downloaded in two formats: a “core” stack installer or a “full” stack installer. The “core” installer is targeted to experienced Z-Stack users who only need updated library and source files. The “full” installer is intended for users who would like additional application examples.

Source: emcelettronica

Radiocrafts Rolls Out Compact ZigBee Network Module

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Radiocrafts AS, a leading provider of compact RF modules, now expand their product line with a compact ZigBee Network Module (ZNM) for use in ZigBee based mesh networks. The ZNM module offers the complete ZigBee network protocol in a small module with an easy to use API interface. By using the new ZNM module, ZigBee applications can be built with minimum effort, reducing time to market.

The RC2300-ZNM module is a compact surface-mounted high performance module measuring only 12.7 x 25.4 x 2.5 mm including EMC shielding and integrated antenna. The module is delivered on tape and reel for volume production.

The module is very easy to use having a UART or SPI interface for serial communication and configuration. The ZigBee application runs in any external controller, communicating with the module by an easy-to-use API. With only 10 API calls, a complete application can be made. The new module supports all features of the ZigBee 2006 standard.

The RC2300-ZNM module is pre-certified for operation under the European, FCC and ARIB radio regulations for license-free use. It operates at 16 channels in the 2.45 GHz frequency band. When used with quarter-wave antennas a line-of-sight range of 250 meter can be achieved. Indoor range is typically 10 – 30 meter. The module is designed for use in battery operated systems using sleep mode with less than 1 uA.

Source: EDA Geek

The ZigBee Lesson

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

What does the story of another low-power, low-cost radio standard tell us about the future of RFID?

At about the same time as Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology was being developed, another somewhat similar standard was being born. ZigBee is a standard for mesh networking, in which tiny low-powered radios form networks by passing data among themselves.

Mesh networking is a cool idea on a chalkboard. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, academic mathematicians enthusiastically calculated what shapes and communication styles mesh networks should have, what their power would be, and how they would work.

But what was the point? While ZigBee could pass information over short ranges at low costs, RFID could identify things over short ranges at a lower cost. And while ZigBee was simpler and cheaper than Wi-Fi, which was becoming the dominant force in wireless local-area networking, it was also less powerful. What was the killer application that did not need the luxurious bandwidth of Wi-Fi, but needed more networking capability than could be had from the simple identification provided by RFID?

ZigBee enthusiasts and entrepreneurs wrestled with that question for more than five years. There were disappointments. Opportunities appeared and shimmered, but turned out to be mirages. There was military ZigBee, medical ZigBee, even ZigBee-enabled RFID readers and tags. None of these led to large orders. ZigBee appeared to be in trouble, crushed between cheaper RFID and more powerful Wi-Fi.

Two years ago, I mentioned ZigBee at a meeting with one of the world’s largest wireless networking companies and got a derisory reaction: ZigBee, explained the Wi-Fi product manager, was a dead technology. Wi-Fi could do everything ZigBee could do and would soon be cheaper, too, due to the huge volumes of Wi-Fi devices being manufactured. At about the same time, an MIT engineering Ph.D. pointed me to a detailed paper showing that ZigBee would fail due to unavoidable bandwidth crunches. It all seemed very convincing.

Then the U.S. electricity industry decided, with a little encouragement from the federal government, that it was time to replace decades-old electricity meters with new, network-enabled devices that would not just monitor energy consumption but potentially control it as well. Wi-Fi was too expensive and too power-hungry; the point was to reduce power use, not add to it. Since all the meters, air conditioners and light switches were conveniently located right alongside one another, the solution was obvious and ready to go: ZigBee. Today, millions of dollars are being invested in ZigBee home-automation technology.

What does this have to do with RFID? The lesson of ZigBee is that all major technologies go through cycles of hope and despair, of exuberance and pessimism, of adoring experts and then scathing experts. This happens until those first big commercial applications kick in. Then it’s hard to find a naysayer anywhere. So if you find yourself wondering whether the RFID revolution is ever going to come, remember ZigBee—where the right questions turned out to be how and when, not if.

Souce: RFID Journal

Zigbee Aquarium Controller

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

The ReefKeeper Elite is true to its name, standing alone in the industry as the most innovative aquarium controller on the market. With the most intuitive interface and easy use system controls, you’ll find it will simplify all aspects of your aquarium system that it controls. There’s also no need to find a power outlet near the head unit as there’s no power cord needed; power is provided right from the bus. The compact and convenient design, multiple mounting options and great looks makes the ReefKeeper Elite right for almost any installation; and without any unsightly probe wires dangling about, the head unit will add a touch of class to any tank!

While a USB connection for your ReefKeeper Elite is needed for updates to firmware, nobody wants an unsightly wire running from their ReefKeeper to their PC. This will offer a Zigbee like wireless network experience. While we’re not ready to release all the details, our wireless module will give you freedoms and abilities that other systems just can’t offer. More to come on this optional module.

Source: Reefbuilders

Radiocrafts, Innovative Technologies Develop ZigBee-based Wireless System for Parking Lots

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

This is actually about a month old, but I discovered it while reading Elektor Magazine. I couldn’t find the link from Elektor, but since its a standard press release, I found another place that had it…

Radiocrafts AS and Paris-based Innovative Technologies successfully implemented a novel ZigBee-based wireless system, designed by Innovative Technologies based on the Radiocrafts RC2300 RF module, targeted at parking lots. Read more on this article.

Wibree vs Zigbee

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Some overview of Wibree vs Zigbee features:

  • Wibree is a PAN (Personal Area Networking) technology
  • Zigbee is a mesh networking technology
  • Wibree is more power efficient
  • Zigbee has got more range
  • Wibree’s data transfer rate is 1 Mbps
  • Zigbees Data transfer rate is 250 Kbps
  • Wibree has got a star topology
  • Zigbee has got a mesh topology
  • Wibree uses bluetooth radio and can co-exist with bluetooth
  • Zigbee needs its own special radio and has got no relationship with bluetooth