Zigbee Basics- Notes and Resources

These are my personal notes on Zigbee that be be helpful if you are new to the protocol.

What is Zigbee? – Zigbee is a low power, low data rate wireless protocol used primarily for Home automation – Wiki

Device Types

Full Function Device (FFD)- Can communicates with all node types and can operate in one of three modes:

  • PAN Coordinator: Sends beacon frames, provides routing information, manages short, network-specific addresses. Every network requires one
  • Router.-Relay messages between nodes. Not required in simple networks
  • Normal End device.-Sends and receives messages. The only node type that can sleep.

Network Topologies

Zigbee networks can be configured to operate in one of three topologies.

  • Star
  • Tree
  • Mesh

zigbee-networking-topologies

Full Function Device (FFD)- Can communicates with all node types and can operate in one of three modes:

Reduced Function Device (RFD): Can only talk to a single
FFD.

Network Addresses

All devices have a 64bit MAC address assigned by the manufacturer.

The MAC address is mapped to a unique 16 bit network address by the coordinator and assigned when the device joins the network. This is the Short address.

Zigbee also provides support for group addresses which allows message delivery to multiple nodes.

PAN Address

This is a 16 bit address assigned by the coordinating when the network is created. It is equivalent to the IP network address.

Application Addresses

A Zigbee node can support up to 240 applications. Each application is assigned an endpoint number in the range 1-240. This is similar to tcp/ip ports.

A broadcast endpoint of 255 is also available.

Encryption

Data can be encrypted at one of three levels:

  • MAC
  • Network
  • Application

Encryption uses AES-128 and shared keys.

Resources:

Related Tutorials

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