IEEE 802.15.4 MAC

- overview, or tutorial about the basics of the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC and its frames and protocol.

The IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer provides the control for the flow of frames that pass through the radio interface and are transmitted over the air.

The IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer also provides the interface to the higher layer protocol stacks that are provided by the variety of different application systems including Zigbee, etc.


IEEE 802.15.4 MAC overview

The purpose of the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC layer is to provide an interface between the PHY or physical layer and the application layer. The as IEEE 802.15.4 does not specify an application layer, this is generally an application system such as Zigbee, RF4CE, MiWi, etc.

The IEEE 802.15.4 MAC provides the interface to the application layer using two elements:

  • MAC Management Service:   This is called the MAC Layer Management Entity, MLME. It provides the service interfaces through which layer management functions may be called or accessed. The IEEE 802.15.4 MAC MLME is also responsible for controlling a database of objects for the MAC layer. This database is referred to as the MAC layer PAN information base or PIB. The MLME also has access to MCPS services for data transport activities.
  • MAC Data Service:   This si called the MAC Common Port Layer, MCPS. This entity within the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC provides data transport services between the peer MACs.

By Ian Poole


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