Zigbee Network | History | Features | Application

Define Zigbee Networks : 

Zigbee is a wireless protocol. It can be used for wireless networking and connectivity is the wireless language that everyday devices use to connect to one another. It is the recently newly emerged technology of network communication based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard where IEEE stands for Institute of electrical and electronic engineers. It is a new standard developed by the Zigbee alliance for a personal area network consisting of more than 270 companies. 

Zigbee is a low cost, low power, wireless network standard targeted at battery-powered devices in wireless control, and monitoring application. It is built on the physical layer and media access control defined in IEEE standard 802.15.4 for low rate WPANs. The specification includes four additional components such as network layer, Zigbee Device Objects, and manufactured defined applications objects. 

The Zigbee network layer supports both star and tree networks, and generic mesh networking. Every network must have one coordinator device. Instar network coordinator must be the central node. Both trees and meshes allow the use of Zigbee routers to extend communication at a network level. 

Zigbee's specification has two implementation options such as Zigbee and Zigbee PRO. 
First implementation Zigbee is designed to support smaller networks with hundreds of devices in a single network. The Zigbee PRO feature set is the most popular device used for most alliance developed standards. It is the first choice of developer.

This article gives Some basic features of Zigbee networks, advantages and disadvantages and application of Zigbee networks.

History of Zigbee :

  • Zigbee was firstly found in 1998, standardized in 2003 and revised in 2006. 
  • Zigbee style self-organizing ad-hoc digital radio networks were defined in the 1990s. 
  • The IEEE 802.15.4-2003 specification was ratified on 14 December 2004.
  • The Zigbee Alliance announced the availability of specification 1.0 on 13 June 2005. 
  • Zigbee PRO also is known as Zigbee 2007 was finalized in 2007.

A feature of Zigbee networks :

  • It incorporates power saving mechanisms for all device classes
  • Discovery mechanism with full application confirmation
  • pairing mechanism with full application confirmation
  • various transmission option included broadcast
  • Uses small packet compared with WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Low data rate
  • Low battery consumption
  • The maximum operating range for Zigbee device is 250 feet
  • Easy to implement
  • Low cost
  • Support up to 65000 nodes connected in a Zigbee network
  • Zigbee can automatically establish its network

Application of Zigbee networks :

  • Home automation :
    1. Heating, lighting
    2. Cooling, door locking mechanisms
    3. Home security system
    4. Smoke detector
  • Telecom application :
    1. Used to transmit and receive the message
    2. Share ring tone, images and contacts also
    3. Emergency services
  • Industrial automation
    1. Personal tracking
    2. Livestock tracking
    3. Record and transmit critical data like vibration, pressure, and temperature
  • Security : 
    1. Home security
    2. Fire detection
  • Health care
  • Smart energy
  • Remote control for consumer electronics 
  • Hotel room access
  • Smart metering

Simulation of Zigbee Network :

Simulation of a network like ns2, OMNeT++, OPNET, and NetSim can be used to simulate IEEE 802.15.4 Zigbee networks. 

All simulators we can see above come with open source C or C++ libraries for users to modify. This is the way that users can determine the validity of new algorithms before hardware implementation. 

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