I put together a Zigbee/802.15.4 chip comparison guide. There is another one up on the web , but it hasn't been updated since 2004. I thought I would put together the 2008 version since a lot of the info on the 2004 chart is a bit obsolete. Such as:

  • The AT86RF210 is EOL'd
  • CompXS was purchased by Integrated
  • Ember's EM2420 was a re-marked CC2420 which disappeared after TI purchased Chipcon
  • ZMD no longer makes their Zigbee chip. I think they cut some deal with Renesas which gave them the IP
So I figured it was time for an update. I don't guarantee the accuracy of the tables, although I took all of the information from the datasheets on the vendors' websites. Also, I initially tried to do it in HTML tables, but HTML tables suck. So I put the tables together in an external program and then exported it as a JPG. Hopefully, you can read it. The first table is a comparison guide for transceivers only. You can click on it to get the full JPG. All values are "typical" unless stated otherwise. The font is a bit small due to the size of the table so I've included a PDF document at the end of the post in case it's difficult to read.

Zigbee Chip Comparison - Transceivers

The second comparison table is for integrated MCUs + Transceivers. The integrated category is quite complex and I might expand this one later.  Integrating an MCU and a radio is difficult because many features come into play: ADC, ADC Resolution, number of timers, types of timers, GPIO, development tools, architecture, etc... I might need to make a more comprehensive list, but here is the first stab at it. Regarding the power consumption values, in cases where a multi-chip module are used (they just stuck an MCU and a radio die on the same substrate), the power values are given as separate MCU and RF numbers since I couldn't get the actual total consumption value. If anyone can correct me on these, please let me know...

With so many wireless sensor network protocols vying for world domination, I thought I would write a brief survey of the ones that are currently standardized or in the standardization process. Come with me and join in on the fun...

I was just going through the paraphernalia I acquired from the Zigbee Open House in Tokyo when I came upon this little gem. Now, I think a Zigbee gas valve is an interesting product, but is it just me or does the installation description sound a little erotic?


 Just what I need to control the gas coming out of my cock!

The Zigbee Alliance announced that they're forming an "Internet Solutions Initiative" to investigate ways of integrating IP networking into Zigbee. Translation: They're forming a new IP6 group.

Looks like they've taken notice of the work thats going on over at 6LowPAN and Adam Dunkel's Contiki/uIP project . Anyone thats familiar with the Zigbee spec knows that its almost a one to one correspondence with TCP/IP. The Zigbee NWK layer is analogous to the IP layer, the NWK routing protocol, AODV, is analogous to IP's RIP or OSPF, and the Zigbee Application Framework is analogous to the TCP layer (without the TCP state machine and the weird sequence space thing). Zigbee has endpoints, TCP has ports. Zigbee has endpoint grouping, TCP has port binding. The list goes on and on.

One of the main benefits of Zigbee is that the protocol is designed for operation over wireless networks and was basically designed to fit 802.15.4. 6LowPAN on the other hand is doing double-back-handsprings-with-a-twist to get IPv6 to fit into the 802.15.4 frames.

Just got back from the Zigbee Open House in Tokyo.  Overall, it was pretty interesting, although I'm proud that I was one of the few people that weren't sleeping in the audience by the end. There are a lot of things going on inside the Zigbee group and some of them are pretty exciting. Too bad that it takes a few thousand dollars to become a member.

One of the more interesting topics were the application profiles that are currently being worked on. This hasn't received a lot of press lately, but when it was explained, it sounded very interesting. The Tokyo powerpoints aren't up yet, but you can find the same PPTs here . In a nutshell, the current application profiles, either available or in progress are:

  • Home Automation
  • Commercial Building Automation
  • Advanced Metering and Infrastructure
  • Personal, Home, and Hospital Care
  • Wireless Sensor Applications