About ZigBee

What is ZigBee

  • ZigBee is a specification for a suite of high level communication protocols using small, low-power digital radios based on an IEEE 802 standard for personal area networks (PAN).
  • ZigBee is a cost- and energy-efficient wireless network standard.  It is targeted at radio-frequency (RF) applications It employs mesh network topology, allowing it provide high reliability and a reasonable range.
  • ZigBee is the global wireless language connecting dramatically different devices to work together and enhance everyday life.

ZigBee Use Areas

  • Home & Building: air-conditioning temperature control system, automatic control of lighting, curtains, automatic control, gas measurement control, remote control of appliances, etc.;
  • Energy: industrial Control and agricultural control, various monitoring, sensor automatic control;
  • Health: patient monitoring, fitness monitoring, medical sensors, and other emergency pager.
  • Telecom: PC and peripherals;

Basic Concept

Wireless Serial Port: ZigBee can be thought as wireless serial port. At least two ZigBee modules are needed to make them communicate with each other. ZigBee modules are connected with computer through serial port. Although most used adapters have USB interface, computer still treats them as serial port.

Send data to specific address: Each ZigBee module has an address. It also talks to a specific destination address. The destination address can be the broadcast address. That is all modules in same network can receive the data.

Grouped by PAN ID: ZigBee network can be simple as just include two modules. It is also possible that the network contains a coordinator and many routers and end devices. The most important thing is that they must share the same PAN ID.

AT and API: AT mode is transparent. Raw data is sent and received. In API mode, data will be wrapped in packages with API header and followed by a checksum. AT mode is easy to use, while API mode has more control for transfer.

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