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ZigBee is a radio network technology based on the lower layers for radio transmission specified by IEEE 802.15.4. ZigBee was designed for industry, smart homes and building control. ZigBee technology is a short range wireless (SRW) technology, similar to Bluetooth, Z-Wave or Wibree, but it targets applications in building automation, manufacturing process control, monitoring and automation, and is also used in Industrial WLANs (IWLAN) and Internet of Things

(IoT). The main difference compared to the aforementioned technologies is that ZigBee is designed to transmit small amounts of data. The transmission rates are lower than those of Bluetooth and 802.11, but the technology is characterized by low power consumption. The power consumption of ZigBee components is a significant operating factor, as the components are often used in battery-powered sensors for monitoring and must operate for several years without maintenance or battery replacement. Alternatively, ZigBee in the ZigBee Pro variant can also be used with sensors with micro energy harvesting. In addition, the ZigBee protocol stack has a much lower complexity than the Bluetooth protocol stack

. Inaddition, resumption of functionality after a sleep mode

ismuch faster.

ZigBee and Other WLANs

Classification of Different WLANs

Classification of Different WLANs

Unlike other WLAN protocols, ZigBee can transmit encoded signals in ultra-wideband (UWB) across a broad spectrum, known as Low Rate Wireless Personal Area Network (LR-WPAN). This suppressed carrier technique requires much less power than full carrier modulation schemes. In addition, inactive network components are switched off in the ZigBee network, resulting in further power reduction. These measures result in a current consumption of about 15 mA in active mode, less than 1 µA in power-down mode and 0.5 mA in idle mode. This results in an average power consumption of less than 0.01 mAh (milli ampere hours). ZigBee distinguishes between two operating modes for communication: beacon mode and non-beacon mode. While in beacon mode the nodes are polled regularly at a certain rhythm, in non-beacon mode the network components only operate when there is an action, for example when a switch

is opened and the node communicates this to the higher-level node or the network coordinator

The ZigBee frequency bands

The Zigbee frequencies are in the license-free ISM bands around 868 MHz, 915 MHz and 2.4 GHz


In terms of range, this technology can span between 10 m and 75 m, depending on the transmission power


ZigBee specifications

ZigBee specifications

Reliability and security meet the requirements of industrial applications. These are very high, as attacks by unauthorized users can cause considerable damage, such as the disruption or standstill of production technology systems. For this reason, ZigBee security

isbased on a multi-level security concept.

ZigBee developments are largely driven by the ZigBee Alliance, which has introduced various improvements and extended functions in the current ZigBee 3.0standard, such as grouping of ZigBee devices, targeted broadcast and over-the-air configuration.

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Englisch: ZigBee
Updated at: 18.11.2015
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