Work to be done before ZigBee-Thread tie-up makes mesh networks interoperable and smart homes real

Cees Links, GreenPeak Technologies' CEO

The ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Group recently announced that they are collaborating to aid development of connected home products. Their agreement opens doors for the ZigBee Cluster Library Application Protocol to run on Thread networks.

This is a big step forward to making the Internet of Things and the Smart Home real, says Cees Links, CEO of GreenPeak. We applaud the direction taken by the ZigBee Alliance and the Thread Alliance for planning to integrate the ZigBee Cluster Library on top of the Thread networking stack. (Also see: ZigBee Remote Control 2.0: Updated standard for radio frequency-based remote controls.)

This step is a move into providing the ZigBee Alliance with a clear IP strategy, and the Thread Group with a standard for application profiles. (Also see: GreenPeak launches GP691, next generation ZigBee radio chip and GPM6000 modules for Internet of Things and Smart Home networks.)

However, it is clear that a lot of work needs to be done to get this all in place, including proper test specifications and certification procedures. Setting out a clear direction for the industry will make life easier for both product and technology providers, in particular in solving challenges that include:

  1. Coexistence/migration of the ZigBee PRO networking layer and the Thread networking layer
  2. Integration of ultra-low power end devices (ZigBee Green Power) in a Thread environment
  3. Bridging of ultra-low latency RF4CE ZRC2.0 capabilities across ZigBee/Thread networks

In principle, all the key components are available to build an efficient Internet of Things (IoT) local area networking environment, but to make this secure, power efficient, easy to use (self-install) and cost-effective at the same time will be a challenge.

ZigBee and proprietary frameworks overview

After this recent announcement of the integration of the ZigBee Cluster Library, the new framework overview looks like this:

GreenPeak

Lessons learned from the past

GreenPeak has a rich history in WiFi standardization, and if there is one (obvious) lesson learned it is that in communication technology standards working together is essential.

Currently, there are many initiatives in the industry to standardise different elements of IoT communication protocols, but this announcement positions two credible IoT standardisation bodies to provide direction for the first end-to-end protocol, including IEEE 802.15.4 (for the physical layer), IETF 6LoWPAN (for the networking layer) and the ZigBee Cluster Library (for the application layer).

At first glance this may appear as a small step, but in the near future this step could become a key milestone in the development of the IoT and the Smart Home.

Comment below or on Twitter:    @jcm2m     OR     @m2mnow

Click Here to find out more on the different IoT wireless communication standards.
This white paper provides an overview of the most important contenders around the IoT Wireless Communication Standards, mapped on the ISO layering model, and updated after the recent ZigBee and Thread announcement.

 

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Scality’s 2022 forecast: Storage solutions get AI/MLOps upgrade, enhanced ransomware protection

Posted on: December 8, 2021

London, UK. 7 December 2021 – Scality announced its data storage predictions for 2022, coming off a year when ransomware attacks have exploded, skills shortages remain, and cloud adoption continues. This year’s forecast homes in on how storage solutions will evolve to meet these challenges and how emerging technologies will impact the data storage landscape.

Read more

Virtana free tier offering lets enterprises experience simplified hybrid cloud optimisation at no cost

Posted on: December 8, 2021

Virtana announced the immediate availability of a free version of Virtana Optimize, its cloud optimisation solution. The Free Tier offering complements the Premium version of Virtana Optimize, allowing for frictionless customer adoption.

Read more