EE Times Article - Choosing RF Protocols - Part III - Zigbee

May 28, 2013
 
EE Times - 5/28/2013 -  The RF protocols that developers use for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications must meet exacting requirements for robustness, reliability, and connectivity. Today, developers can choose among several good options.
   
This article gives designers the pros and cons of each of the five leading RF protocols − Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, and DECT – used for ISM applications. The article also explains which protocols are most often chosen for which types of applications. In this way, designers can make informed decisions as they develop devices for ISM applications. The expertise for this article comes from Symmetry Electronics' years of advising designers as a distributor specializing in RF.
   

ZigBee

   
The ZigBee standard is a straightforward packet data protocol designed for distributed sensor networks, which is ideal for low-cost, low-power wireless applications. Because of ZigBee's low data rate of 250 Kbps, designers can use it for intermittent data transfer or a single signal transmission from a sensor or input device.  ZigBee offers a long battery life (years) and secure networking. Designers can incorporate the technology into small, relatively inexpensive, low-power chips, and then into low-cost, low-power devices. 
   
Network administrators can configure ZigBee devices in a mesh network configuration, which is the most common and supports more than 64,000 devices. However, they can also configure ZigBee in star or tree cluster configurations. The networks will manage themselves with seamless connectivity. ZigBee networks can transmit data over long distances through intermediate devices.
    
This article gives designers the pros and cons of each of the five leading RF protocols − Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, and DECT – used for ISM applications. The article also explains which protocols are most often chosen for which types of applications. In this way, designers can make informed decisions as they develop devices for ISM applications. The expertise for this article comes from Symmetry Electronics' years of advising designers as a distributor specializing in RF.
   
Read Part IV - DECT
   
Written by: David Beck - Director of Technical Marketing - Symmetry Electronics Corp.
   
This article originally appeared as an online article on eetimes.com.

Written By: Michael Venezia
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