ZigBee IP

- Zigbee IP has been developed to enable full Internet connectivity of Zigbee devices using IPv6 protocol.

ZigBee IP is a version of the Zigbee standard for mesh networking for remote control and sensing.

As the name indicates, the Zigbee IP standard provides for Internet operation using IPv6-based full wireless mesh networks.

Accordingly, the standard enables operation of devices as part of the Internet of Things concepts.

Zigbee IP features

Zigbee IP offers a number of key features:

  • IEEE 802.15.4 base:   Zigbee IP uses the IEEE 802.15.4 base standard to provide the low layer functionality.
  • Frequency compatibility:   Zigbee IP is specified for use in licence free bands: 2.4 GHz (global); 868 MHz (Europe); 915 MHz (USA); 920 MHz (Japan).
  • Link layer security:   The system uses AES-128-CCM to provide security using known and proven technology.
  • Header compression :   The system compresses the IPv6 headers using the techniques uses in 6LoWPAN to reduce the transmission overhead and increase efficiency.
  • IPv6:   Each node on a network can be individually addressed using IPv6 routing and addressing protocol. This is the same protocol that is now being used on the Internet and supersedes IPv4 that was running out of addresses.
  • Multicast:   Zigbee IP provides multicast capability. It enables service discovery using mDNS and DNS-SD protocols.
  • Inter-networking:   Using the IPv6 protocol Zigbee IP is able to communicate end to end with devices in its own network or other networks with an ultimate connection.

Zigbee IP basics

Like the basic Zigbee specification, ZigBee IP builds on the IEEE standard 802.15.4. Essentially 802.15.4 provides the basic interface layers, while Zigbee IP provides the network and security layers and an application framework.

One of the key advantages of Zigbee IP over other offerings using 802.15.4 is that it provides a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking. In this way it provides an ideal basis for many applications that are considered as part of the Internet of Things.

Zigbee IP also provides end-to-end security using TLS1.2 protocol, link layer frame security based on AES-128-CCM algorithm and support for public key infrastructure using standard X.509 v3 certificates and ECC-256 cipher suite.

In this way ZigBee IP enables low-power devices to connect with other IPv6-enabled Ethernet, Wi-Fi and, HomePlug devices.

By Ian Poole

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Securing the future of IoT | Rutronik
Securing the future of IoT
Co-authored by Bernd Hantsche, Head of the GDPR Team of Excellence and Marketing Director Embedded & Wireless and Richard Ward, ‎Semiconductor Marketing Manager at Rutronik.

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