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ZigBee is a radio frequency communication protocol based on IEEE 802.15.4 standards for short-range wireless communication. ZigBee provides a data rate of 250 kbps in the 2.4 GHz band internationally, 40 kbps in the 915 MHz band in US and Australia, and 20 kbps in the 868 MHz band in Europe. ZigBee based short range mesh networks can handle up to 65,535 devices. ZigBee estimated range is over 150 feet (50 m). ZigBee is a low power consumption technology.

According to [1], ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4 - General Characteristics:

- Dual PHY (2.4GHz and 868/915 MHz)
- Data rates of 250 kbps (@2.4 GHz), 40 kbps (@ 915 MHz), and 20 kbps (@868 MHz)
- Optimized for low duty-cycle applications (<0.1%)
- CSMA-CA channel access yields high throughput and low latency for low duty cycle devices like sensors and controls
- Low power (battery life multi-month to years)
- Multiple topologies: star, peer-to-peer, mesh
- Addressing space of up to:- 18,450,000,000,000,000,000 devices (64 bit IEEE address) or 65,535 networks
- Optional guaranteed time slot for applications requiring low latency
- Fully hand-shaked protocol for transfer reliability
- Range: 50m typical (5-500m based on environment)

More information can be found at ZigBee Alliance website: http://www.zigbee.org/


Zigbee is becoming a more popular technology in smart meters and some power management gadgets in a home. It can provide home automation, industrial monitoring and control, energy usage monitoring, energy management and demand response. See [2] for slide presentations "ZigBee Close-Up Demand Response Use Scenarios".

More Zigbee use in smart grid applications can be found here: http://smartgrid.testing-blog.com/tag/zigbee/


[1] What is Zigbee by Palowireless.com. URL: http://www.palowireless.com/zigbee/whatis.asp
[2] "ZigBee Close-Up Demand Response Use Scenarios" from ZigBee Alliance, 2007. URL: http://www.zigbee.org/Events/Webinars/Webinar_2007_10_18.aspx

Key Technology Area: 
Integrated Communications

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