editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Zigbee/Thread Collaboration

Zigbee has a long history and is presumably familiar to our readers (at least at some level). It’s got the 802.15.4 physical layer, its own middle network/transport layers, and then profiles (in the Cluster Library) at the top application layer.

Those profiles define specific behaviors for a wide variety of devices; they define what I’ve referred to as “business object” semantics. Their value is in interoperability: you can share a messaging protocol, for instance, so that two endpoints can successfully exchange information, but if the format of the message content isn’t agreed on, the two devices ultimately can’t have a cogent conversation.

So these profiles define exactly how a door lock or a coffee maker or any other device should work so that, in theory anyway, stuff should just plug together and work. (Whether that works in real life is a different story, and not our focus for today.)

Meanwhile, the Thread protocol was announced not too long ago as an alternative middle layer that uses low-power IPv6. It uses the same physical layer that Zigbee uses. But it has no specific application layer defined. For believers in the value of pre-defined object semantics, this would mean that devices made by two different vendors using Thread are unlikely to work together – unless the two companies happened to talk first and agree on how things would work.

Well, it was recently announced that Zigbee and the Thread group are going to work together so that the Zigbee Cluster Library can be made to work over Thread. This gives Thread an application layer with object semantics, and it gives designers a choice of middle layer – Zigbee or Thread. And, given a network protocol translation function, it even means that Zigbee and Thread networks could even be intermixed.

GreenPeak, a Zigbee SoC provider, followed this up with a cautious statement in support of the collaboration, saying there was much work to do to test and prove out the resulting devices. They have a whitepaper with an overall protocol drawing that illustrates their view of their world, updated to include Thread.

 ZigBeeThreadApril2015.jpg

Image courtesy GreenPeak (Click to enlarge)

You can check out the official Zigbee/Thread announcement here.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Oct 20, 2020
Voltus TM IC Power Integrity Solution is a power integrity and analysis signoff solution that is integrated with the full suite of design implementation and signoff tools of Cadence to deliver the... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community site...
Oct 19, 2020
Have you ever wondered if there may another world hidden behind the facade of the one we know and love? If so, would you like to go there for a visit?...
Oct 16, 2020
Another event popular in the tech event circuit is PCI-SIG® DevCon. While DevCon events are usually in-person around the globe, this year, like so many others events, PCI-SIG DevCon is going virtual. PCI-SIG DevCons are members-driven events that provide an opportunity to le...
Oct 16, 2020
[From the last episode: We put together many of the ideas we'€™ve been describing to show the basics of how in-memory compute works.] I'€™m going to take a sec for some commentary before we continue with the last few steps of in-memory compute. The whole point of this web...

Featured Video

Four Ways to Improve Verification Performance and Throughput

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Learn how to address your growing verification needs. Hear how Cadence Xcelium™ Logic Simulation improves your design’s performance and throughput: improving single-core engine performance, leveraging multi-core simulation, new features, and machine learning-optimized regression technology for up to 5X faster regressions.

Click here for more information about Xcelium Logic Simulation

Featured Paper

The Cryptography Handbook

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

The Cryptography Handbook is designed to be a quick study guide for a product development engineer, taking an engineering rather than theoretical approach. In this series, we start with a general overview and then define the characteristics of a secure cryptographic system. We then describe various cryptographic concepts and provide an implementation-centric explanation of physically unclonable function (PUF) technology. We hope that this approach will give the busy engineer a quick understanding of the basic concepts of cryptography and provide a relatively fast way to integrate security in his/her design.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Accelerate the Integration of Power Conversion with microBUCK® and microBRICK™

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Vishay

In the world of power conversion, multi-chip packaging, thermal performance, and power density can make all of the difference in the success of your next design. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Raymond Jiang about the trends and challenges in power delivery and how you can leverage the unique combination of discrete MOSFET design, IC expertise, and packaging capability of Vishay’s microBRICK™and microBUCK® integrated voltage regulators.

Click here for more information about Vishay microBUCK® and microBRICK™ DC/DC Regulators