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Pick the right controller for the Zigbee network

Posted: 03 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:picking Zigbee network controller? optimal results Zigbee coordinator?

The Zigbee networking standard has slowly but surely taken up an important share of the wireless market. Vendors of Zigbee products are increasing, and more and more types are coming out. With the increasingly fiercer competition, the number of providers paying attention to Zigbee's declared featureslow cost and low power consumptionhas grown, hence the increasing popularity of the single-chip solution. Users have opened up to the single-chip solution for its potential to dramatically reduce the cost, shorten the development cycle and accelerate time-to-market, thus taking a positive role in the promotion and application of Zigbee. However, some limitations have cropped up as a result of this diversification.

A Zigbee network has three device types: the coordinator, the router and the end device. The coordinator is the so-called "brain" or center of the entire network, responsible for functions such as setting up, maintaining and managing the network, and allocating network addresses. Because it undertakes many tasks, the performance of the "brain" manager must be higher than that for other network devices. For simple networks or applications, the same controller can be used for the three device types. However, the burden on the network coordinator becomes heavier as networks expand and applications grow more complex, gradually surpassing the capability of the single chip. In the same token, Zigbee end devices and routers need controllers with lower cost and power consumption due to their relatively simpler functions.

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