SPOTLIGHT: ZigBee's Time

ZigBee is not a panacea for all embedded wireless applications, but it is a good and useful technology. It consumes little power owing to a low-duty cycle and the rapid ability of 802.15.4 radios to sleep. A ZigBee device which requires 10mW active power and 10uW standby power with a duty cycle of 0.1 percent supplied by a 750mAh AAA battery linearly regulated to 1V would have a battery life of around 37,000 hours -- that is, four years and three months. ZigBee is secure, adopting 128-bit AES security for all wireless communication, and is easy to program, as ZigBee devices are generally programmed in C (sometimes requiring assembly language for particular time- or space-critical components). ZigBee devices use well-established microcontrollers, so there are quite a number of development tools available. We would be wise to educate ourselves to the potential of this emerging technology. Discussion | Analysis

Suggested Articles

Utilities and others are eager to deploy private wireless networks, and the FCC is making more spectrum available for this purpose.

Verizon is scaling Real Time Kinematics, halfway through a 2-year nationwide network deployment "with a critical mass of major markets" this year.

Application developers will benefit from the efficiency of using Verizon’s distributed network coupled with its fiber footprint and backbone.