ZigBee+ - Features and Benefits

Yitran’s ZigBee+ is a ready to use reference design (hardware and software) that provides seamless connectivity between RF and Powerline Communication (PLC) networks using ZigBee stack operating above two underlying MAC/PHY technologies; 802.15.4 for the RF media and HomePlug Command and Control (HomePlug C&C) for the powerline media.

The use of dual media below the ZigBee stack by the ZigBee+ platform allows using existing standardized ZigBee assets, such as, stack, ZCL, device types and profiles and allows creation of a single unified ZigBee network operating optimally on the dual media as shown below.  

 

ZigBee+ extends ZigBee’s coverage by providing the ubiquitous connectivity on the most suitable media as needed in the growing Command and Control market including Home Automation (HA), Smart Energy (SE), health care, and all other standardized ZigBee profiles.

ZigBee+ allows ZigBee devices to select the most suitable media to communicate with each other and provides coverage irrespective of their geographical distribution.

In addition to superior coverage and robustness, the ZigBee+ platform extends other ZigBee devices’ battery life by reducing the number of indirect RF routing transmission by combining alternative PLC routing transmissions where applicable.

Yitran is open to licensing the ZigBee+ platform to any ODM or OEM.

Case Study (Smart Energy Market)

A common application for the Smart Energy market is to transmit information from meters to In-Home Displays (IHD) in residences. In Multiple-Dwelling Units (MDU), meter closets are located outside of residences and RF communication simply cannot reach the In-Home Displays within the residences, whereas PLC communication can provide excellent and direct connectivity between the meter and the IHD.

The ZigBee+ platform can be used to overcome this problem using one of the following two methods:

1. Media Bridging.

This method is to be used when the meters and IHD devices in deployments cannot be changed. By setting up two standardized ZigBee+ range extender devices that are also dual media, one near the meter and one inside the residence. The meter and IHD will communicate with the ZigBee+ range extenders over RF and the ZigBee+ range extenders will communicate among themselves using PLC. ZigBee routing mechanism will ensure that the route from the meter to the IHD will be set via the ZigBee+ range extenders. This is illustrated in the figure below. 

2. Using meters and IHD devices that are implemented using the ZigBee+ platform.

This method is to be used when the meter and IHD devices in deployments are yet to be developed. In this case, the IHD and meter both support PLC and can thus communicate directly over the powerline media as illustrated in the figure below.

  • ZigBee+ Advantages
  • Applications
  • Specifications
  • Media agnostics by ZigBee applications.
  • Use of Dual Media is indifferent to changes in the ZigBee stack and profiles.
  • Simple integration to existing ZigBee networks. 
  • 100% network coverage.
  • Plug and play installation.
  • Extends battery life by reducing power consumption of ZigBee devices.
  • Reduces the amount of radiation within the home.
  • Transmission Diversity/Redundancy for 100% robustness.
  • Flexibility and applicability to multiple markets.
Yitran’s ZigBee+ is a ready to use reference design (hardware and software) that provides seamless connectivity between RF and Powerline Communication (PLC) networks using the ZigBee stack operating above two underlying MAC/PHY technologies