ZigBee – Why it is a BUZZ word?
In 2002 an alliance was formed comprising of 200 – 250 companies and with an objective of driving standards for low power wireless communication. They particularly focussed on markets where data could be sent across buildings or a larger area potentially traversing multiple hops and all devices were to be really low powered. The result was ZigBee which defines a mesh protocol used for sensor monitoring and control type applications where “low power” is a key focus. This is the standard that tech evangelists were actually looking for as it paved the way for inter-operability of devices from different companies which otherwise was not possible. Thus ZigBee is a global wireless standard which has made it possible to “control your world”.
ZigBee IEEE 802.15.4 standard is a low cost, low power, moderate data rate wireless mesh topology gaining traction in the home energy market with multiple Zigbee enabled products available in the market. ZigBee enables smart meters to communicate with home appliances which help to manage the overall load. At VVDN we believe that innovative ZigBee–based solutions can advance wireless networks in the home and within industrial and public facilities while coming into its own in diverse market segments as shown in the fig below. Even smartphone companies are working on incorporating it in the upcoming models. ZigBee is all about setting standards for cost efficient control networks. We can say that:
“ZigBee undoubtedly is the wireless communication of choice”
Since its inception VVDN has been providing solutions for wireless sensing technologies and has a rich experience in building and operating reliable and robust ZigBee Networks. Our team of experts who specialize in ZigBee products can help you achieve full ZigBeecompliance for your wireless product while reducing risks. Some of the key design and operational considerations while designing applications with ZigBee are:
1) Reliability: Designers should consider the appropriate layout in terms of the anticipated distances between radios and the expected density of the network produced. The reliability of communication between any pair of nodes is degraded by three phenomena: attenuation, interference and multi-path. Additionally it also depends on the hardware design—including packaging, antenna design and PC-board layout—as well as on the materials in the surrounding environment. By placing ZigBee receivers and transmitters closer together, the destructive effects of all three conditions are reduced.
2) Security: Most ZigBee solutions will require some level of security to be designed into the devices. Every ZigBee network is required to have a Trust Center (TC), which manages security for the network. The specific capabilities of the TC will depend on the application profile or profiles being deployed, the underlying stack profile or feature set and developer decisions with regard to optional security features. If developers choose to use a public ZigBee profile, then the security decisions for their applications have already been made for them; they are pre-defined in the profile. If a developer intends to build a private profile application, the choice will be the security mode in one of the ZigBee pre-defined stack profiles.
3) Network Utilization: Utilization here includes throughput considerations as well as the communications patterns that will be in use. Designers should carefully test their assumptions and expectations with respect to throughput under conditions that, as closely as possible, approximate those of an actual deployment. The final design should take the results of these tests into account.
4) Platform Considerations: ZigBee standardized framework does not by itself ensure easy product development. Designers must choose between “rolling their own” ZigBee solution from multi-vendor components or building their applications upon an integrated hardware/software platform. A multi-vendor platform sometimes offers developers lower upfront costs. But a single-source platform, while sometimes more expensive, lets designers avoid the headaches, finger-pointing and product development delays inherent in solutions built from different vendors’ hardware and software products.
The standard was designed to give wireless system designers great flexibility in developing highly differentiated applications. Experts from VVDN are quite adept at providing comprehensive solutions for ZigBee building automation system. VVDN help OEMs and system integrators to roll out new products on time and on budget by offering reusable, highly adaptable solutions, including hardware and software.