ZigBee IP and 920IP

ZigBee innovation connects simple and high-tech devices for consumers and businesses.

ZigBee IP is the first open standard for an IPv6-based full wireless mesh networking solution and provides seamless Internet connections to control low-power, low-cost devices. It connects dozens of the different devices into a single control network.ZigBee IP was designed to support ZigBee 2030.5 (formerly known as ZigBee Smart Energy 2).It has been updated to include 920IP, which provides specific support for ECHONET Lite and the requirements of Japanese Home Energy Management systems. 920IP was developed in response to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) designation of 920 MHz for use in HEMS and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) endorsement of ECHONET Lite as a smart home standard. 920IP is the only standard referenced by the Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) which supports multi-hop mesh networking.

Network Topology

Frequently Asked Questions

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Technical Summary

The ZigBee IP specification enriches the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers and an application framework. ZigBee IP offers a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking, laying the foundation for an Internet of Things without the need for intermediate gateways. It offers cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless mesh network based on standard Internet protocols, such as 6LoWPAN, IPv6, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS and UDP. It also features proven, end-to-end security using TLS1.2 protocol, link layer frame security based on AES-128-CCM algorithm and support for public key infrastructure using standard X.509 v3 certificates and ECC-256 cipher suite. ZigBee IP enables low-power devices to participate natively with other IPv6-enabled Ethernet, Wi-Fi and, HomePlug devices.

From this foundation, product manufacturers can use the ZigBee Smart Energy version 2 standard to create multi-vendor interoperable solutions. As with any ZigBee Alliance specification, custom applications, known as manufacturer specific profiles, can be developed without multi-vendor interoperability.

Characteristics of ZigBee IP include:

  • Global operation in the 2.4GHz frequency band according to IEEE 802.15.4
  • Regional operation in the 915Mhz (Americas), 868Mhz (Europe) and 920 MHz (Japan)
  • Incorporates power saving mechanisms for all device classes
  • Supports development of discovery mechanisms with full application confirmation
  • Supports development of pairing mechanisms with full application confirmation
  • Multiple star topology and inter-personal area network (PAN) communication
  • Unicast and multi-cast transmission options
  • Security key update mechanism
  • Utilizes the industry standard AES-128-CCM security scheme
  • Supports Alliance standards or manufacturer specific innovations




IEEE 802.15.4 Physical Radio International standards-based two-way radio Global standard ensures solid performance
Global Operation in 2.4 GHz plus 915MHz Americas, 868 MHz Europe and 920 MHz in Japan ZigBee supported radio frequencies Approved for convenient, license-free operation in most of the world
AES-128-CCM link layer security Wireless data security for maximum protection Wireless communications are secured using proven algorithms
6LoWPAN header compression IPv6 headers are compressed before transmission over-air Reduced transmission overhead increases efficiency and performance
Self-configuring and self-healing wireless mesh network Network architecture Easy-to-use with increased robustness and reliability. No-touch deployment with automatic channel selection, address assignment, route establishment etc.
Scalable networking protocols based in Internet standards Network protocols Proven and well understood networking protocols
IPv6 protocol support and addressing on each node Node addressing Each node is individually addressable and reachable via IPv6 protocol
Standard IPv6 routing protocol Network protocol Same network protocol as used in the Internet
Support for TCP and UDP transport protocols to enable full range Transport protocols Enables full range of Internet applications (like HTTP etc.) to be deployed
Support for multicast forwarding to support mDNS based service discovery Service discovery protocol Enables service discovery via mDNS, DNS-SD protocols
TLS v1.2 protocol for end-to-end security Security protocols Proven security protocols with range of cryptographic algorithms
Wireless Commissioning support Allows for creation of new setup tools to facilitate adding devices to a network New setup tools can be used to add devices onto network, modify network configuration etc.
Low-power IPv6 Hosts with duty-cycled radio operation Low power Protocol stack supports very low-power operation and years of battery life
Low Cost sensor nodes with full IPv6 network stack Cost Lower cost compared to most wireless IPv6 nodes
Sensor network integration with wider Internet without use of intermediate gateways or protocol translators Inter-networking End-to-end IPv6 allows ZigBee IP sensor network to be integrated seamlessly with other IP based networks

ZigBee IP Network Topology ZigBee IP networks are composed of several device types: ZigBee IP Coordinator, ZigBee IP Routers and ZigBee IP Hosts. Coordinators control the formation and security of networks. Routers extend the range of networks. Hosts perform specific sensing or control functions. Manufacturers often create devices that perform multiple functions, for example a programmable communicating thermostat may also route messages to the rest of the network.This graphic illustrates an example ZigBee IP topology that includes one coordinator, a border router for Internet control access, five routing devices and, two end devices creating a control network. An example network in a smart home, the coordinator may be a programmable communicating thermostat with advanced support for an in-home display. Devices such as smart plugs, thermostats and smart appliances could be configured as routing devices. Simple devices such as smart appliances and temperature sensors could be end devices

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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  networks offer product manufacturers a highly reliable solution.

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.

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

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.

Do ZigBee Home Automation or other ZigBee Alliance developed standards run on ZigBee IP?
Only ZigBee 2030.5 is planned to run on ZigBee IP. ZigBee IP was designed specifically to support that 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, individual manufacturers may be developing their own applications on ZigBee IP.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Will ZigBee IP networks interoperate with other technologies, such as Wi-Fi?
ZigBee IP specification is based on Internet Protocol. ZigBee 2030.5 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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The zigbee alliance is the foundation and future of the IoT. Established in 2002, our wide-ranging global membership collaborates to create and evolve universal open standards for the products transforming the way we live, work, and play. With our members’ deep and diverse expertise, robust certification programs, and a full suite of open IoT solutions, we are leading the movement toward a more intuitive, imaginative, and useful world.