ZigBee gateway is the core of the IoT gateway in smart home wireless system. It manages many ZigBee nodes downward, process data and connects upward to the cloud platform, so as to make the smart home system run more reliably. Before we know ZigBee gateway, This article is going to tell you what is ZigBee in IoT and what is ZigBee used for.
The Smart Home, a long-standing promise for more than 30 years, is now becoming a reality. ZigBee has emerged as the preferred wireless communication technology. ZigBee is a low-power wireless technology that works with WiFi to make homes smarter, safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient.
The entire goal of a smart home is to have everything connected to everything else. All connected smart home gadgets, in particular, can share information. You can control them all without having to go to each one separately. A single network connects all devices created by various firms. As a result, communication requires a shared language. This is where ZigBee comes in.
What is Zigbee?
Zigbee is a full-stack solution that typically operates following the IEEE 802.15.4 standard and employs wireless mesh network technology. It is a wireless technology based on standards created to enable low-cost, low-power wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of things (IoT) networks①.
The ZigBee standard was created by the ZigBee Alliance, which included many significant companies such as Philips, Mitsubishi Electric, Epson, Atmel, Texas Instruments, and others. This Alliance was established as a non-profit organization in 2002.
ZigBee offers IoT hardware and application developers and ends users flexibility as well as excellent compatibility. The protocol has several uses due to its significant features of low cost, low power consumption, and speedier wireless connectivity. For example, it is a preferred technology for smart homes since it outperforms other wireless technologies in several ways.
For starters, ZigBee devices are trustworthy since communication is two-way. Second, it serves all industries, including lighting, security, appliances, and home access. Third, and most significantly, this technology consumes very little power because of its low latency and duty cycle. Furthermore, it employs a mesh network, reducing node failure likelihood.
Zigbee Global Market
Zigbee protocol has been around for many years and it is a market-proven technology. Zigbee has been widely adopted globally across different industries and sectors, due to its promising features. Various renowned organizations have provided authentic research on global trends and the market share of Zigbee. Here I will provide you with some convincing numbers along with their references to prove the value of Zigbee technology.
- Verified market research estimates the ZigBee Market size was valued at USD 3.50 Billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 7.79 Billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 9.30% from 2023 to 2030.
- According to Reportslinker, ZigBee Market is expected to register a CAGR of over 9.2% during the forecast period (2020 – 2025).
- Market research future says that ZigBee Automation Market is an Estimated net worth of US$ 7.91 billion with a CAGR of 8.60% by the year 2030.
The growth of the market is driven by the increasing adoption of smart homes and connected devices, increasing investment in smart cities, and the need for energy-efficient and low-cost communication solutions.
The IEEE 802.15.4 standards for the Physical and MAC layers and its own large network and application layers are followed by the ZigBee network protocol.
The physical and MAC layers of IEEE 802.15.4 are used by Zigbee. It operates in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz ISM band as well. Although 2.4 GHz is widely used worldwide, devices in the United States, Europe, and China employ frequencies such as 915 MHz, 868 MHz, and 784 MHz, respectively. It also transmits data at a rate of 250 kbps②.
Zigbee Network Topologies
You can connect your smart home devices using Zigbee protocol devices in several kinds of networks as shown.
The start topology, also known as ZigBee Smart Energy, consists of a Zigbee coordinator and several end-user devices. The devices communicate only with the coordinator.
The mesh topology, also known as Self-Healing Process, consists of a Zigbee coordinator, multiple routers, and end-user devices. Each node is linked to every other node separately through a dedicated cable link, thus forming a mesh in the network. For n nodes, you must have n (n-1)/2 number of links. Due to this large number of link requirements, the mesh topology is considered to be very expensive as its cabling cost is very high.
In the tree topology, the nodes are structured in the form of a tree. Zigbee network consists of a central node which is a coordinator, several routers, and end devices. The main purpose of this topology is to enhance the network’s coverage range. Tree topology comprises one base node and multiple branch nodes.
The branching cable starts from the base node and it connects the base device node with other devices of your smart home network in a sequential or hierarchical style. This topology is economical as compared to the mesh topology.
Wireless technologies are mainly divided into four types: Bluetooth, WiFi, Zwave, and ZigBee. No technology is entirely immune to attack, and ZigBee is relatively secure in a small range of wireless technologies. All Zigbee devices use built-in encryption to prevent hacking.
The Connectivity Standards Alliance, an organization that develops standards for Zigbee technology, uses a certification program to ensure that manufacturers comply with these security standards.
Broadly there are two variants of Zigbee, including Zigbee 3.0 (the latest) and Zigbee Pro. However, there are a few other variants that are designed for specific domains/applications including Zigbee Green Power, Zigbee Smart Energy, Zigbee Light Link, and Zigbee Home Automation. Each variant has its unique features and capabilities, but all of them are designed to work together in a Zigbee network. Zigbee 3.0, the latest variant, is intended to provide a common standard for devices from different manufacturers to work together seamlessly, making it easier for consumers to create and control intelligent home networks.
Zigbee 3.0 is the latest version of Zigbee, the wireless communication standard for IoT devices. It is designed to provide enhanced features and capabilities compared to previous versions of Zigbee. Some of the key features of Zigbee 3.0 are given below.
- Interoperability across different device types and vendors
- Improved security features such as encryption and authentication
- Increased network scalability with support for more devices
- Optimized for low-power consumption
- Improved network performance and reliability
Zigbee Pro is designed for use in commercial and industrial applications. It provides features such as larger network capacity, longer battery life, enhanced security, advanced networking, and easy device commissioning.
It is designed to provide a robust, scalable, and secure wireless communication solution for commercial and industrial applications such as building automation, industrial control systems, and smart energy management.
Zigbee Green Power
Zigbee Green Power (ZGP) is a specialized version of Zigbee that is optimized for low power consumption and battery-powered devices and has features that allow for energy-efficient communication and security in a network of devices.
Some of its key features are mentioned below.
- ZGP uses a unique communication method called “Green Power Tunneling” that enables devices to communicate with each other without the need for a central hub or coordinator. This reduces power consumption and extends the battery life of devices.
- Zigbee Green Power devices consume less energy by implementing several power-saving features such as sleep modes, reduced wireless transmission activity, reduced data rate, power-efficient design, and power harvesting.
- ZGP uses the Zigbee Pro stack which is more robust than the Zigbee Home Automation stack, which allows for larger networks and more devices and also has better security features.
Zigbee Smart Energy
Zigbee Smart Energy (ZSE) is a specialized version of Zigbee that has the following distinct features.
- ZSE is specifically designed for use in energy management applications, such as smart meters, load control, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).
- ZSE uses the Zigbee Smart Energy Application Profile (SEP) which defines the communication protocols and data models used by devices in the network. This allows for different types of energy management devices to work together seamlessly.
- ZSE includes features such as automatic meter reading (AMR), remote disconnect/reconnect, and demand response, which are useful for managing energy usage and costs.
- ZSE also includes advanced security features such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, secure key establishment, and secure over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to protect the network and the devices connected to it.
Zigbee Light link
Zigbee Light Link (ZLL) is a specialized version of Zigbee that is optimized for lighting applications. It has the following special features.
- ZLL is specifically designed for lighting applications and has features that make it well-suited for controlling lights, such as colour and intensity control.
- ZLL uses a simpler network setup process called “touchlink commissioning,” which allows devices to be easily added to the network without the need for a central hub or coordinator.
- ZLL also has a “light linking” feature that allows lights to be grouped and controlled together, making it easy to create scenes and automate lighting in a smart home or building.
- ZLL is also backwards-compatible with other Zigbee devices, allowing it to work with other Zigbee-based products and ecosystems.
Zigbee Home Automation
Zigbee Home Automation (ZHA) is a more general-purpose version of Zigbee that is designed for use in a wide range of home automation applications and has features that allow for more complex network topologies and a wider range of devices to be integrated into a single system. Key features of ZHA are:
- ZHA uses the Zigbee Application Profiles (ZAPs) which allows for different types of devices to work together seamlessly.
- ZHA uses the Zigbee Home Automation stack which is less robust than the Zigbee Pro stack but is more power efficient, which is good for battery-powered devices.
Comparative Analysis Zigbee vs WiFi vs Bluetooth vs LoRaWAN vs Z-wave
Zigbee and other wireless protocols, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, and LoRaWAN, have some similarities and some key differences. I have formulated the following table of comparison of some of the main features of each protocol: You can get further insights here.
|Frequency band||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz and 5 GHz||2.4 GHz||908.42 MHz||868 MHz (Europe) / 915 MHz (North America)|
|Range||30-100 m||30-100 m||10-30 m||30-100 m||5-15 km (rural) / 1-2 km (urban)|
|Maximum devices||65,000||254||7-8||232||thousands (depending on network design)|
|Security||AES-128||WPA2-AES||AES-128||AES-128||AES-128 / AES-256|
|Application||IoT devices||Internet and multimedia||Personal device connectivity||Home automation||IoT devices, asset tracking, and machine-to-machine communication|
|Network topology||Mesh||Star||Piconet||Mesh||Star (with gateway)|
|Data rate||40-250 kbps||600 Mbps to 3 Gbps||1 Mbps||100 kbps||0.3 kbps to 50 kbps|
|Protocol stack||IEEE 802.15.4||IEEE 802.11||Bluetooth 4.2||ITU G.9959||LoRaWAN|
Zigbee is compared to other technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave, but each one of them has its advantages and limitations. While Zigbee is less powerful in terms of data rate and range when compared to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it is more efficient in power consumption and better suited for battery-powered devices, and it is more open and cheaper than Z-wave. Figure 4 will give you a clear comparison picture in terms of range, cost, data rate and power consumption.
Explore more at Which One is The Best for Smart Home
Advantages of ZigBee
Extensive library of mobile apps and devices used by hundreds of businesses worldwide.
There is a large ecosystem of Zigbee products to choose from that work in unison.
Reliable and Low-Power
A self-healing mesh network eliminates single points of failure while consuming little power.
Secure and Reliable
Secure by design, with a variety of security mechanisms, including AES-128-CCM encryption over the air to meet your security requirements.
Who Uses Zigbee?
Residential and Commercial Users
Zigbee is a mature, market-proven technology that provides flexibility and interoperability for smart home and business applications. It is a dependable, secure, energy-efficient, and cost-effective solution with a scalable network size that addresses a variety of Zigbee use cases.
The continuous development of Zigbee is supported by some of the world’s largest utilities, energy service providers, product manufacturers, and technology businesses. Zigbee is still evolving as a technology, with new features in the works and scheduled for release.
IoT Hardware Developers
Zigbee is a mature, market-proven technology with millions of smart devices in IoT use today. Zigbee is the only full-stack interoperability technology supported by a worldwide member ecosystem ranging from silicon vendors to integration services, allowing for IoT development and go-to-market flexibility while maintaining the security of supply chain variety.
IoT Service Providers / Ecosystems
The continuous development of Zigbee is supported by some of the world’s largest utilities, energy service providers, product manufacturers, and technology businesses. Zigbee is a mature, market-proven technology with millions of devices in use today. It is an open standard that allows for a competitive marketplace of various vendors, lowering costs.
The global 2.4GHz (and soon-to-be-released Sub-GHz) spectrum, standard technology, and proven compatibility make adoption and customer service more accessible.
The continuous development of Zigbee is supported by some of the world’s largest utilities, energy service providers, product manufacturers, and technology businesses. Zigbee is an open standard that allows for a competitive marketplace with various vendors, lowering costs. The global 2.4GHz (and soon-to-be-released Sub-GHz) spectrum, standard technology, and proven compatibility make adoption and customer service more accessible.
What Devices Use ZigBee?
The ZigBee Alliance is a group of businesses that have adopted this standard. More than 400 members are registered in the Alliance, and over 2,500 devices are in use. Here are some users of this standard:
Amazon Echo Plus
Zigbee Technology Application
Sensor networks based on Zigbee technology are widely used and can help better achieve goals. Zigbee technology applications include smart homes, industrial control, automatic meter reading, medical monitoring, sensor network applications, telecommunication applications, and warehousing logistics systems.
Under normal circumstances, there will be many electrical and electronic devices in the home, such as lights, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, computers, air conditioners, etc., and there may be smoke sensors, alarms, cameras, and other equipment. In the past, it was possible to achieve point-to-point control, but if ZigBee technology is used, these electronic devices can be linked to form a network.
It can even be connected to the Internet through ZigBee gateway. So people can quickly check on their homes from anywhere without having to run wires. Applying ZigBee wireless communication technology to the field of smart home devices can improve the convenience of operation and reduce the cost of a home on the one hand.
In addition, ZigBee wireless communication technology can also achieve practical signal anti-interference functions, reducing signal interference to other users while creating convenience for people.
Smart Elderly Care
Zigbee can also be widely used in the field of smart elderly care. The IoT elderly home care solutions allow the elderly to remain at home independently for longer. It can detect the elderly’s life trajectory and also protect the elderly’s safety. The system employs inconspicuous wireless sensors placed throughout the home to learn the elderly’s daily behavior patterns and detect behavioral changes that may cause concern.
It then sends messages to family members or caregivers to remind them. The smart elderly care system has been successfully tested in residential care facilities for several years and is now available for home installations by service providers, retailers, and smart home system integrators.
Designed to provide renters with a lifestyle blend home and increase rent for tenants, save energy and collect valuable resident population data in return. Smart apartment solutions are mainly for channel dealers and apartment managers. It is equipped with intelligent hardware devices such as zigbee gateways, access control, locks, thermostats, smart meters, liquid leakage sensors, human motion sensors, smart sockets, and smart switches.
At present, the smart home apartment solutions on the market mainly adopt cloud-to-cloud docking solutions. Assuming a problem with the equipment service provider will cause the cloud platform to stop serving, making the apartment system unable to operate normally and causing losses.
Dusun IoT can provide a way for devices to directly connect to the apartment system, avoiding the risk of system crashes caused by third-party problems in apartment system services. Most importantly, Dusun IoT provides a standard device docking API, allowing the system docking time to be controlled within one month. This is something that most solution providers cannot do.
Electronic medical monitoring is a recent research hotspot. Many sensors are put on a person’s body to measure things like pulse, blood pressure, and health status. Monitors and alarms are also placed in a hospital ward so that physical conditions can be checked at any time. Once a problem occurs, you can respond in time, such as by notifying the duty staff of the hospital.
Through ZigBee technology, these sensors, monitors, and alarms may connect to create a monitoring network. Because it is a wireless technology, there is no need for a wired connection between sensors, and the person being monitored can move freely.
Sensor Network Application
The sensor network is also a recent research hotspot and has good application prospects in aspects such as cargo tracking, building monitoring, and environmental protection. Low-cost nodes, low power consumption, automatic networking, simple maintenance, and high reliability are requirements for sensor networks.
ZigBee is a great technical option for sensor network applications because of its benefits in networking and low power usage.
Warehousing Logistics System
With the promotion of warehousing and logistics systems, the demand for unlimited data transmission systems has shown a rising trend. It puts forward high-efficiency and low-cost requirements for wireless communication technology. ZigBee is especially suitable for warehousing and logistics systems due to its safety and reliability, multi-path routing, and other characteristics. Its practice is embodied in:
First is the scheduling of on-site vehicles. Because the connection between the vehicle and the console is so important and because it’s hard to ensure the transmission distance with traditional wireless communication protocols in places like warehouses and logistics, ZigBee can be used to solve this part of the problem.
Second, the network structure of meshed ZigBee wireless communication technology can be applied to warehousing and logistics, relying on data relay, dynamic routing, and other means to ensure the reliability and efficiency of overall system communication.
Third, vehicles in warehousing and logistics always have to move constantly, and conventional wireless communication protocols always show the problem of insufficient flexibility when finding the best path. The application of technology, with its network topology, can meet the changing needs of information transmission paths and can flexibly provide an ideal transmission path to ensure the quality of communication.
Automatic Meter Reading
Sensors convert the meter readings into digital signals that send the readings directly to the company that supplies the gas or water via the ZigBee network. Using ZigBee for meter readings can also bring other benefits. For example, the gas or water company can send some information directly to the user or combine it with energy savings. It can automatically reduce the speed of use when it finds that the energy is being used too fast.
Wireless ZigBee Devices
The Internet of Things market has more and more product types and more and more mature technologies. With the continuous improvement of ZigBee technology, it will become the most cutting-edge digital wireless technology in the world today. The significant advantages of ZigBee, such as low power consumption, low cost, low speed, and convenient use, make it bound to have broad application prospects.
Thermostats, energy meters, temperature, presence, brightness, and CO2 sensors, smart sockets, actuators with integrated energy and power meters: a diverse range of wireless devices for Smart Building projects aimed at maximizing energy efficiency.
ZigBee gateway is an IoT gateway acts as a bridge between a ZigBee network and other wireless or wired network such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet. ZigBee gateway allows ZigBee devices (such as smart lighting, thermostats, and security cameras) on the ZigBee mesh network to communicate with devices on the other network, and vice versa. Users can use smartphones to monitor their ZigBee devices. Within the ZigBee gateway, there is a ZigBee coordinator which manages the ZigBee network, and another network interface connecting ZigBee network to the other network, mainly depends on your choice.
All IoT gateways of Dusun support Zigbee, including Programmable IoT Gateway, Cloud Platform Gateway, IoT App Gateways.
The ZigBee gateway, independently developed by Dusun IoT, supports the access of mainstream ZigBee protocol version terminal devices and allows third-party terminals that conform to the standard ZigBee protocol to access multi-service support expansion.
The Wi-Fi & Zigbee-enabled socket works with Alexa to make any outlet be voice control. Multi-function supported: remote control, timer, and schedule lights, lamps, and small appliances to turn on/off automatically.
Through our IoT center, Zigbee-certified sensors may be quickly incorporated into the customer’s platform.
embedded Zigbee3.0 modules are also provided, allowing users to develop Zigbee gateways that meet individual needs. In the future, more and more smart products with ZigBee functions will enter our life, bringing great convenience and speed to our life and work.
Smart switch is used for wireless wired devices. based on the wireless protocol Zigbee and Bluetooth wireless. Additionally, it can be utilized for wireless control of things like a garden door, garage door, access system, and intercom.
The maximum Wi-Fi data rate is 580Mbps, while the maximum BLE data rate is 2Mbps. Additionally, the Wifi Router is capable of supporting the 5V adaptor and POE switch power supplies. Both the ZigBee3.0 and 4G LTE functions are reserved. The series contains two versions, dual-band 4G LTE router and router gateway. Dusun also offers Tuya-compatible routers ndeveloped in the base version.
A summary of Zigbee’s structure, modes of operation, configurations, and uses are presented below. Our goal in providing this article is to help you better comprehend the subject matter of the title.
Zigbee (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zigbee
Zigbee protocol (no date) Zigbee Protocol – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/zigbee-protocol
Zigbee market size, share, trends, growth, Opportunities & Forecast (2022) Verified Market Research. Available at: https://www.verifiedmarketresearch.com/product/global-zigbee-market-size-and-forecast-to-2025/