ZigBee IP Specification FAQ  

  1. What is the ZigBee IP specification?
  2. What ZigBee IP resources are available today?
  3. Can ZigBee IP be used on top of other IEEE 802.15.4-based MAC/PHY technologies?
  4. What is the relationship between ZigBee IP and ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0?
  5. What are the IEEE 802.15.4 technical attributes on which the ZigBee specification is based?
  6. What methods does ZigBee IP use to achieve low power consumption?
  7. How does ZigBee IP compensate for possible interference in the 2.4GHz band?
  8. How does ZigBee IP addressing wireless reliability?
  9. How are ZigBee IP networks secured? 
  10. Does ZigBee IP support different security modes?
  11. How many devices, can a ZigBee IP network support?
  12. Do ZigBee Home Automation or other ZigBee Alliance developed standards run on ZigBee IP?
  13. What IETF standards does ZigBee IP support?
  14. Will ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee PRO devices interoperate?
  15. Will ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee RF4CE devices interoperate?
  16. Can a ZigBee IP, ZigBee PRO or ZigBee RF4CE network co-exist in the same space?
  17. Will ZigBee IP networks interoperate with other technologies, such as Wi-Fi?

  1. What is the ZigBee IP specification?
    ZigBee IP is the first open standards-based IPv6 specification for wireless sensor networks. The ZigBee Alliance made a significant investment to bring IPv6 network protocols to IEEE 802.15.4 wireless mesh networks. The ZigBee IP specification offers a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking based on standard Internet protocols, such as 6LowPAN, IPv6, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS and UDP to a create cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless mesh network. ZigBee IP enables low-power devices to participate natively with other IPv6 enabled Ethernet, Wi-Fi and, HomePlug devices without the need for intermediate gateways.

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  2. What ZigBee IP resources are available today?
    The ZigBee IP specification is available today for public download. Both software and chip vendors have created implementations of the ZigBee IP specification. You can find a complete list on our ZigBee Compliant Platforms section. 

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  3. Can ZigBee IP be used on top of other IEEE 802.15.4-based MAC/PHY technologies?
    Yes, because ZigBee IP specification is built with a layered architecture and is therefore suitable for any link layer within the 802.15.4 family. ZigBee IP incorporates technologies, such as 6LoWPAN and RPL, that optimize meshing and routing for wireless sensor networks.  This blend of technologies results in a solution that is well suited to extend IP networks to IEEE 802.15.4-based MAC/PHY technologies.

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  4. What is the relationship between ZigBee IP and ZigBee Smart Energy version 2.0?
    The forthcoming ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 is an IP-based standard offering energy management and efficiency capabilities. ZigBee IP was specifically designed to provide an IPv6 protocol stack that can operate on low-cost, low-power devices and also support the requirements of ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0. This combination will enable the creation of wireless devices with long battery life that will be eligible to earn the ZigBee Certified product seal. 

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  5. What are the IEEE 802.15.4 technical attributes on which the ZigBee specification is based?
    ZigBee IP takes full advantage of a powerful IEEE 802.15.4 physical radio standard and operation in unlicensed bands worldwide including 2.4GHz (global), 915Mhz (Americas), 868Mhz (Europe) and 920Mhz (Japan) bands. Raw data throughput rates of 250Kbs can be achieved at 2.4GHz (16 channels), 40Kbs at 915Mhz (10 channels) and 20Kbs at 868Mhz (1 channel). Transmission distances range from 50 to 200 meters, depending on power output and environmental characteristics.

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  6. What methods does ZigBee use to achieve low power consumption?
    ZigBee IP lets battery powered devices can sleep for hours or even days, reducing battery use. The duty cycle of battery powered nodes within a ZigBee network is designed to be very low, offering even more energy efficiency and greater battery life. Once associated with a network, a ZigBee node can wake up and communicate with other ZigBee devices and return to sleep.



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  7. How does ZigBee IP compensate for possible interference in the 2.4GHz band?
    ZigBee IP products have access to 16 separate, 5MHz channels in the 2.4GHz band. Several of these do not overlap with US and European versions of Wi-Fi™. ZigBee incorporates an IEEE 802.15.4 defined CSMA-CA mechanism that reduces the probability of interfering with other users, plus ZigBee uses automatic retransmission of data to ensure network robustness. Because the duty cycle of a ZigBee product is usually extremely low, relatively few packet data units are transmitted, reducing the likelihood of an unsuccessful transmission. Additionally, the ZigBee IP protocol suite contains mechanisms that allow an operational network to move to a different channel.

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  8. How does ZigBee IP addressing wireless reliability?
    ZigBee IP was designed for the hostile RF environments that routinely exist in mainstream commercial applications. Utilizing Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum with features including collision avoidance, receiver energy detection, link quality indication, clear channel assessment, acknowledgement, security, slots and packet freshness; ZigBee-compliant networks offer product manufacturers a highly reliable solution.

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  9. How are ZigBee IP networks secured?
    ZigBee IP offers extensive security features, including PANA/EAP based network authentication and admission control, network re-keying, AES-128-CCM based layer 2 encryption, and TLS application layer authentication and encryption.

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  10. Does ZigBee IP support different security modes?
    ZigBee IP security can be adapted to match a wide variety of market needs.

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  11. How many devices, can a ZigBee IP network support?
    ZigBee IP networks use scalable Internet protocols that do not impose any explicit limitation on network size. As a practical matter, the network size is usually limited by the amount of data that is transmitted and the available memory on the individual devices. For typical IEEE 802.15.4 based platforms and applications, a network may be able to support dozens of devices. Multiple network coordinators can operate separate networks that coexist in the same physical area and this can further increase the number of supported devices.

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  12. Do ZigBee Home Automation or other ZigBee Alliance developed standards run on ZigBee IP?
    Only the forthcoming ZigBee Smart Energy version 2 is planned to run on ZigBee IP. ZigBee IP was designed specifically to support the ZigBee Smart Energy version 2 standard due to its unique requirements. No other ZigBee Standards are capable of operating on an IP network and so cannot utilize this specification; however, other groups may develop their own manufacturer specific profiles.

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  13. What IETF standards does ZigBee IP support?
    ZigBee IP Supports 6LoWPAN for header compression, IPv6, PANA for authentication, RPL for routing, and TLS and EAP-TLS for security, TCP and UDP transport protocols. Other Internet applications like HTTP and mDNS can be supported as applications operating over ZigBee IP.

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  14. Will ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee PRO devices interoperate?
    ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee PRO devices cannot be installed in the same network. They could only communicate through the use of a special gateway that is equipped with both specifications.

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  15. Will ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee RF4CE devices interoperate?
    ZigBee IP devices and ZigBee PRO devices cannot be installed in the same network. They could only communicate through the use of a special gateway that is equipped with both specifications.

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  16. Can a ZigBee IP, ZigBee PRO or ZigBee RF4CE network co-exist in the same space?
    All ZigBee networks can operate together successfully in any home, business or industrial setting. They also co-exist with other wireless technologies.

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  17. Will ZigBee IP networks interoperate with other technologies, such as Wi-Fi?
    ZigBee IP specification is based on Internet Protocol.  The forthcoming ZigBee Smart Energy 2.0 was specifically designed to use ZigBee IP, enabling the exchange of information seamlessly between devices utilizing any IP-enabled MAC/PHY (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, HomePlug, etc).

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