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IPv6 over Low power WPAN (6lowpan)

6lowpan is an acronym of IPv6 over low power Wireless Personal Area Networks. 6lowpan consumes very low power, link speed is in the range of 20-250 kbps, and it operates in the 900 and 2400 MHz frequency bands [1]. According to [2], 6lowpan, by introducing an adaptation layer between the IP stack’s link and network layers, enables efficient transmission of IPv6 datagrams over 802.15.4 links thereby dramatically reducing IP overhead. IEEE 802.15.4 is widely used in embedded applications which require numerous low cost nodes communicating over multiple hops to cover huge geographical areas and operate unattended for years on modest batteries. 6lowpan may be connected to other IP networks, for which the connectivity is provided through arbitrary links like Ethernet, Wi-Fi, GPRS and satellite.

Interested readers may visit the following sites for more information:
- 6lowpan wiki site http://6lowpan.tzi.org/
- IETF WG stie: http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/6lowpan-charter.html


6lowpan allows low-power wireless devices working on IEEE 802.15.4 radios to simply join WiFi devices, Ethernet devices, and a host of others that make up the IP family. In other words, 6LoWPAN turns IEEE 802.15.4 into the next IP-enabled link.

More 6lowpan use in smart grid applications can be found here: http://smartgrid.testing-blog.com/tag/6lowpan/


[1] 6lowpan from IETF, Mar 2006. URL: http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/65/slides/6lowpan-5.pdf
[2] IPv6 over Low power WPAN (6lowpan) Working Group, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). URL: http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/6lowpan-charter.html

Key Technology Area: 
Integrated Communications

Sample Vendors:

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