ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power, self-healing, and scalable wireless technology developed by the ZigBee Alliance. The alliance is a non-profit association of more than 300 member companies that has created a thriving global ecosystem driving development of ZigBee wireless technology in consumer electronic, energy, home, commercial and industrial areas.

Zigbee for it services

ZigBee provides network, security, and application services operating on top of the IEEE 802.15.4 standard which defines the characteristics of Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY).

Currently, according to a recent study from ABI Research, “ZigBee comprised roughly 40% of the 2010 IEEE 802.15.4 chipset shipments and will grow to comprise nearly 55% of 2016 IEEE 802.15.4 chipset shipments.”

This technology offers application profiles for home automation, smart energy, building automation, healthcare, retail, telecom, and even an application layer to be used to build 3D glasses. So ZigBee is an open standard, crafted by everyone to do everything.

Zigbee, the best industrial solution

In fact, ON World’s lately published report finds that the diversity of IEEE 802.15.4 along with the evolution of Internet addressable smart objects is expanding the market opportunities for wireless sensing and control from the smart home to industrial automation. “In 2015, global annual revenues for ZigBee/802.15.4 modules including drop-in RF modules and the equivalent OEM costs for chipset designs-- will reach $1.7 billion from an aggressive viewpoint up from $429 million in 2010” and “ZigBee/802.15.4 chipsets nearly doubled last year and the market is set to increase by up to 800% in five years”.

In addition, the Market Dynamics Report published: “Our research with more than 600 companies has found that the ZigBee market has "crossed the chasm"and is now a mainstream technology. This is further illustrated by several new ZigBee entrants such as BlueRadios, CEL, and SyChip (Murata), as well wireless sensor network pioneer Dust Networks. We have identified over 350 companies that offer, or are developing, products based on IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee. These companies have combined annual revenues of more than $1 trillion. In fact, despite a challenging economy, 15.4/ZigBee unit sales have increased at an average of 62% per year since 2007.”

As a result of its technology uniqueness: low data rate, low power consumption, low cost, high security, high interoperability and high reliability, ZigBee is making Billion’s green management series a perfect but cost-effective energy management solution for users and power utilities.

“This new enhancement of the ZigBee standard demonstrates how such a dynamic ecosystem can bring innovation to the market", says Frederic Vaillant, vice president, Technology Innovation at Schneider Electric. "Having energy harvesting devices connected seamlessly to standard ZigBee networks will provide our customers with maintenance-free and even more environment-conscious solutions."

Billion’s green management ranges from smart green gateway, meter, to USB adapter which is accompanied with Power Management System (PMS) software as an in-home management tool.

Zigbee for electronics solutions

"ZigBee Green Power provides the world with a true standard for control and sensing products that can utilize harvested energy,"said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "These maintenance-free devices greatly expand your flexibility when added to comprehensive ZigBee networks already automating or monitoring businesses, homes and industrial environments”.

Utilities, energy service providers and system integrators can take advantage of Billion’s green management range to develop and implement energy management programs throughout utility Network and Home Area Network.

Zigbee the best choice of it services

Studies from Chartwell announce that“In the utilities surveyed, 47% of survey respondents choose ZigBee as their preferred choice for communications standards in the home.”

A few of ON World’s findings include: “The Smart Home is one of the largest ZigBee/802.15.4 markets and wireless systems could reach 34 million homes worldwide in 2015.” In addition, “Smart Energy made up 44% of theZigBee/802.15.4 units shipped in 2010.” And “In 2014, global revenues for home energy management equipment and services will reach $3.3 billion from an aggressive viewpoint. ZigBee will make up about half of the global home energy management market at this time (this includes wired and wireless systems).”

Moreover, based on 1000 surveys and interviews with end users, vendors and suppliers, ON World’s report states: “ZigBee/802.15.4 Energizes the Internet of Things” assesses the global market opportunity, threats, and competitive landscape for ZigBee, IEEE 802.15.4, and competing alternatives such as Low Power WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy, Z-Wave and EnOcean.” Furthermore, “Wireless lighting controls are set to increase by 724% over the next five years.”

Actually, the ZigBee Alliance announced recently that it is developing a new open standard designed for LED lighting control – ZigBee Light LinkTM. This forthcoming standard will help manufacturers develop a variety of lighting and control products, giving resellers and consumers a wide selection of interoperable wirelessly controlled lighting products for the home. Development of this standard is being steered by industry-leading lighting experts such as GE, Greenwave Reality, OSRAM Sylvania and Philips.

“ZigBee Light Link will be the industry-wide solution for the home market,”said Jos Bruins, ZigBee Light Link working group chair from Philips. “ZigBee Light Link is being vigorously tested and will provide the simplicity consumers need and the helpful features they’ve been hoping the industry would develop.”

Products built using ZigBee Light Link can earn the ZigBee Certified product seal.In fact by reference to On World studies, “The pace of ZigBee product certification has accelerated by 140% over the past 12 months.”

“Having so many lighting industry heavyweights working together to leverage the benefits of ZigBee for ZigBee Light Link will help consumers realize the convenience of standards-based wireless lighting control,”said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. “ZigBee Light Link will give consumers a simple way to control lighting from anywhere in their home, or even if they’re at work or on vacation.”

Today, the ZigBee Alliance offers two specifications ZigBee and ZigBee-RF4CE that serve as the base networking system to facilitate its interoperable market standards. Both specifications are supported by a robust and competitive supply chain, making it easy for you to add ZigBee to your products. “Over 1.1 billion IEEE 802.15.4 ICs are forecast to be shipped in the period 2009-2015. Of these, over 85% will use ZigBee or ZigBee-RF4CE certified software stacks.”

At CES 2012, Comcast, one of the largest service providers in the world said it is moving to ZigBee RF4CE with their new Xfinity set-top boxes and remotes. "We are moving to support ZigBee RF4CE standards-based remote controls and set-tops because they improve the user experience for navigating all our services in the home, while allowing us to make the transition to RF technology in a very cost effective way," said Ted Grauch, Vice President, Video Premise Equipment for Comcast.

Comcast is not alone. Other service providers in the world is also testing and planning on moving to RF4CE for their set-top boxes and remotes. In addition, several of the world's leading consumer electronics and home entertainment manufacturers are planning on using RF4CE. In Japan, Sony is already using RF4CE in their televisions and remote controls to enable viewers to easily purchase items they see on their TVs.

“ZigBee has been considered the front-running short range connectivity option for smart grid since its inception, and has maintained its position so far. While the number of ZigBee clients in homes to date is relatively small, In-Stat believes that ZigBee will maintain its dominance”says Allen Nogee, Research Director.

But it is in the smart grid that future growth is most anticipated. New In-Stat research forecasts that semiconductor revenues for 802.15.4 will likely surpass $1 billion in 2015 with over 71% coming from the smart grid/automated meter reading market.

IMS Research forecasts rapid growth in the adoption of ZigBee technology. In its recent projections, it predicts that “ZigBee adoption will increase from little over 10 million ZigBee solutions shipped in 2009 to over 300 million in 2015; as its utilization grows in a wide range of both existing and emerging applications.”

There will be challenges, with no shortage of competing low power wireless solutions, technical and marketing efforts must be maintained for the Alliance and its member companies.