The latest ZigBee specification, officially named ZigBee 2012, offers full wireless mesh networking capable of supporting more than 64,000 devices on a single network. It’s designed to connect the widest range of devices, in any industry, into a single control network. ZigBee supports the largest number of interoperable standards including ZigBee Building Automation, ZigBee Health Care, ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Smart Energy, ZigBee Telecom Services, and the forthcoming ZigBee Retail Services.
The ZigBee 2012 specification has two implementation options or Feature Sets: ZigBee and ZigBee PRO. The ZigBee Feature Set is designed to support smaller networks with hundreds of devices in a single network. The ZigBee PRO Feature Set is the most popular choice of developers and the specification used for most Alliance developed standards. It maximizes all the capabilities of the ZigBee Feature Set, plus facilitates ease-of-use and advanced support for larger networks comprised of thousands of devices ZigBee PRO now offers an optional new and innovative feature, Green Power to connect energy harvesting or self-powered devices into ZigBee PRO networks. Both Feature Sets are designed to interoperate with each other, ensuring long-term use and stability.
The ZigBee specification enhances the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers and an application framework. From this foundation, Alliance developed standards can be used to create a multi-vendor interoperable solutions. For custom application where interoperability is not required, manufacturers can create their own manufacturer specific standards.
Some of the characteristics of ZigBee include:
- Global operation in the 2.4GHz frequency band according to IEEE 802.15.4
- Regional operation in the 915Mhz (Americas) and 868Mhz (Europe).
- Frequency agile solution operating over 16 channels in the 2.4GHz frequency
- Incorporates power saving mechanisms for all device classes, plus support for battery-less devices
- Discovery mechanism with full application confirmation
- Pairing mechanism with full application confirmation
- Multiple star topology and inter-personal area network (PAN) communication
- Various transmission options including broadcast
- Security key generation mechanism
- Utilizes the industry standard AES-128 security scheme
- Supports Alliance standards or manufacturer specific innovations
We've create a complete list of Features and Benefits for the ZigBee specification.