A Decade of ZigBee Wireless


Congratulations to the ZigBee Alliance for celebrating their tenth anniversary this month.  In this fast changing short-range wireless environment, this is a real achievement that shows how widely adopted the ZigBee standard is and how successful it has become.  Hats off to Bob Heile, Chairman of the ZigBee Alliance, for his guidance and leadership in establishing ZigBee as a top wireless technology.

ZigBee is that wireless specification used primarily for wireless monitoring and control functions in the home, in businesses and in industry.  It uses the IEEE 802.15.4 radio technology and standard for the wireless PHY and MAC layers.  ZigBee then provides a stack protocol that can be used for an incredibly diverse range of applications.  Most ZigBee radios operate in the 2.4 GHz unlicensed ISM band with a data rate to 250 kb/s and a maximum range of typically 10 meters or less.  Its major claim to fame is its mesh networking capability with up to 65,000 nodes.  Mesh networking offers the benefits or wider range and greater reliability over other forms of networking.  ZigBee is widely used for wireless sensor networks.

Besides the basic networking functions of ZigBee its greatest contribution is standards that offer fixed stacks and routines that implement specific functions.  These standard stacks ride on the basic ZigBee and 802.15.4 protocol stacks to perform widely used functions.  The ZigBee Alliance currently offers these standards:

·         Building Automation

·         Health Care

·         Home Automation

·         Input Device

·         Light Link

·         Network Devices

·         Remote Control

·         Smart Energy

·         Telecom services

·         Green Power

The ZigBee Alliance also certifies products to ensure interoperability and across the board compliance to the standards.  The Alliance has over 400 company members who offer more than 600 ZigBee certified products.  Just a few of the products include lights and light switches, door locks, thermostats, cable set top boxes, remote controls, and smart meters.  A wide range of ZigBee drop-in modules are available to build wireless products quickly and easily.

If you are looking for an open wireless standard for short-range projects, ZigBee is worth considering.  It is an ideal choice for Internet of Things projects and is a viable option for some M2M projects.  Check out the details at www.zigbee.org.

Newsletter Signup

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Communiqué?

Blogs on topics such as wired and wireless networking.


Lou Frenzel

Lou Frenzel is the Communications Technology Editor for Electronic Design Magazine where he writes articles, columns, blogs, technology reports, and online material on the wireless, communications...
Commentaries and Blogs
Guest Blogs
Nov 11, 2014

How to Outsource Your Project to Failure 3

This article will address failure to carefully vet a potential manufacturing or “turnkey” partner and/or failure to transfer sufficient information and requirements to such a partner, a very common problem I have seen again and again with my clients over the years, and have been the shoulder cried upon by several relatives and clients in the past....More
Nov 11, 2014

Transition from the Academe to the Industry Unraveled 1

There have been many arguments here and there about how short-comings of universities and colleges yield engineers with skill sets that do not cater to the demands of the industry. There have been many arguments here and there about an imminent shortage of engineers lacking knowledge in the sciences. There have been many arguments here and there about how the experience and know-how of engineers in the industry may vanish due to the fact that they can’t be passed on because the academic curriculum deviates from it....More
Nov 11, 2014

Small Beginnings 5

About 10 years ago I received a phone call from an acquaintance. He had found a new opportunity selling some sort of investments and he wanted to share it with me in case I was interested. Ken had done fairly well for many years as a contract software developer primarily in the financial services sector. His specialty was writing RPG code. (RPG is often referred to as a write only language.) But he was seeing the handwriting on the wall as the industry moved on to other methods, and saw himself becoming a fossil....More

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×