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Exceeding the standard for wireless sensor networks

Posted: 01 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:wireless? sensor? networks?

Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are becoming big business. Harbor Research Inc. predicts the number of wireless devices and sensors shipped in 2010 will hit almost 200 million, while ABI Research puts the number closer to 300 million.

If these forecasts are accurate, there needs to be a truly pervasive networking technology that can form networks consisting of hundreds of nodes. These nodes need to be capable of communicating with each other at any time without being compromised by interference from other RF sources. Furthermore, the nodes must be reliable, ultralow-power and low-cost to purchase, install and maintain.

To meet these requirements, engineers are faced with developing their own WSNs or selecting a turnkey solution. Zigbee is perhaps the best known. However, in addition to Zigbee, there are some proven proprietary alternatives. ANT�s practical wireless network protocol, for example, is optimized for the star and peer-to-peer networks typical of most WSNs installed to date. Let�s compare these two WSN technologies.

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