ZigBee PRO with Green Power

ZigBee PRO delivers the key requirements of device-to-device communication, the foundation of the  Internet of Things.

ZigBee PRO offers full wireless mesh, low-power networking capable of supporting more than 64,000 devices on a single network. It provides standardized networking designed to connect the widest range of devices, in any industry, into a single control network.

Technical Summary

ZigBee PRO is the most popular choice of developers and the specification used for most Alliance developed standards. It maximizes all the capabilities of the IEEE 802.15.4 radios and 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.

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.

Green Power Feature

Network Topology

Frequently Asked Questions

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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

Green Power Feature

With the enhanced ZigBee 2012 specification, ZigBee PRO gains an new optional feature: Green Power. The Green Power feature of ZigBee PRO allows battery-less devices to securely join ZigBee PRO networks. It is the most eco-friendly way to power ZigBee products such as sensors, switches, dimmers and many other devices. These devices can now be powered just by using widely available, but often missed sources of energy like motion, light, vibration, to name a few. The energy used to flip a typical light switch via common energy harvesting techniques, is powerful enough to generate and send commands through a ZigBee PRO 2012 network.

Green Power Feature of ZigBee PRO

Connect Energy Harvesting Devices to ZigBee PRO 2012 Networks

In the example above (reload this page in your browser to view animation again), a ZigBee PRO 2012 network is Green Power-ready if two of its devices implement the Green Power Proxy and Green Power Sink functionalities. The Proxy interfaces with the Green Power device and is typically part of an always powered on device that serves as a ZigBee PRO router. The Sink function (lamp) is typically found in the target device to be controlled and handles the interpretation of the Green Power device (energy harvesting light switch) commands. Both Proxy and Sink functionalities need to be present in a ZigBee PRO 2012 network and they can even be implemented in the same device.

Greener Technology, Greener Products

While ZigBee PRO networks have always been efficient power users, the ZigBee PRO Green Power feature significantly expands the capabilities of ZigBee PRO. It strengthens its leadership position as the global standard for wireless sensor and control networks and the Internet of Things. Product manufacturers can implement ZigBee into more products with confidence, knowing ZigBee is backed by a thriving, innovative and competitive ecosystem vs. proprietary and single-source technologies.

With ZigBee PRO Green Power products, consumers and businesses will appreciate the install-it and forget it simplicity. They can add ZigBee devices to more areas with greater ease, including locations where power is unavailable, not allowed for safety reasons or for historical preservation purposes. Plus, these devices can join larger ZigBee networks and deliver more control than ever before.

ZigBee PRO Network Topology ZigBee PRO networks are composed of several device types: ZigBee Coordinator, ZigBee Routers and ZigBee End Devices. Coordinators control the formation and security of networks. Routers extend the range of networks. End devices perform specific sensing or control functions.Manufacturers often create devices that perform multiple functions, for example a device controls a light fixture and also routes messages to the rest of the network.This graphic illustrates an example ZigBee topology that includes one coordinator, five routing devices, two end devices creating a control network and an optional combination coordinator/gateway providing access to the Internet for more control flexibility.An example network in a smart home, the coordinator may be a home theater control system with advanced support for lighting and security. Devices such as light fixtures, thermostats and air conditioners could be configured as routing devices. Simple devices such as light switches and security sensors could be end devices.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ZigBee specification?
The ZigBee specification offers full mesh networking capable of supporting thousands of devices on a single network. The current ZigBee 2012 features the most up-to-date specification fo ZigBee PRO updated with the lessons learned from deployments in tens of millions of devices around the world. The ZigBee PRO has become the primary development choice for low-power networking in IoT applications facilitates ease-of-use and advanced support for larger networks comprised of thousands of devices.

What is a Feature Set?
A Feature Set refers to a group, or set, of features that create two implementation options. There are two Feature Sets in the ZigBee 2007 specification: ZigBee PRO Feature Set (primary) and the ZigBee Feature Set (secondary).

How do the two Feature Sets in ZigBee work together?
ZigBee PRO is the primary development choice; therefore, products built with the ZigBee Feature Set can only participate in a ZigBee PRO network as end devices. Due to the wide variety of products able to use ZigBee, interoperability of products is determined by ZigBee standards.

How does ZigBee PRO Green Power feature work with ZigBee PRO networks?
By creating proxies in a ZigBee router device, each ZigBee PRO Green Power device is represented as always present on the ZigBee network – even when it is not powered on or present. These proxies forward and resend packets to ensure reliable communication, especially to destination devices, called sinks, that are not in the direct radio range of the Green Power device.

What makes devices using the Green Power feature of ZigBee PRO battery-less?
ZigBee PRO devices using the Green Power feature are able to complete communication with an average 100-500 µJ (micro Joule) of energy. This energy is often created by capturing the energy used to flip a switch via common energy harvesting techniques including piezo-electric elements and dynamo/electro-mechanic converters.

What types of devices are ideal for the Green Power feature?
A variety of devices are well suited for lighting, HVAC, closures and energy management:

  • Lighting – Switch, remote control, light sensor, occupancy detector
  • HVAC- Temperature sensor, humidity sensor, CO² sensor, air flow sensor, valve actuator
  • Closure – Switch, closure sensor, door lock
  • Energy Management – Energy consumption sensor

What are the IEEE 802.15.4 technical attributes on which the ZigBee specification is based?
ZigBee takes full advantage of a powerful IEEE 802.15.4 physical radio standard and operation in unlicensed bands worldwide at 2.4GHz (global), 915Mhz (Americas) and 868Mhz (Europe). 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 10 to 100 meters, depending on power output and environmental characteristics.

What methods does ZigBee use to achieve low power consumption?
ZigBee 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. Representative times as follows:

  • 30 ms (typical) = new slave enumeration
  • 15 ms (typical) = sleep slave to active
  • 15 ms (typical) = active slave channel access

How does ZigBee compensate for possible interference in the 2.4GHz band?
ZigBee 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 protocol 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.

How does ZigBee addressing wireless reliability?
ZigBee 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, support for guaranteed time slots and packet freshness; ZigBee networks offer product manufacturers a highly reliable wireless communication solution.

How many nodes, or devices, can a ZigBee network support?
ZigBee’s addressing scheme is capable of supporting more than 64,000 nodes per network and multiple network coordinators can be linked together to support extremely large networks. The logical size of a ZigBee network ultimately depends on which frequency band is selected, how often each device on the network needs to communicate, and how much data loss or retransmissions can be tolerated by the application.

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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.