Zigbee is a low-cost wireless technology used for short-range, low-power radio communication. ZigBee devices are almost exclusively limited to low bandwidth (1MHz) personal area networks.
Most commercial ZigBee devices operate at 2.4GHz, although some devices run on other ISM bands such as 900MHz and 868 MHz frequency bands. ZigBee has a data transmission rate of 250 Kbit/s, and a maximum range 10 – 30 meters at a power consumption rating of 1mW at low and 100mW at peak.
The low power consumption, low data rates, and short range make ZigBee ideal for use in low power communication devices in close proximity. ZigBee can be integrated into a mesh network for long-range data transfers.
XBee is a radio communication device developed by Digi International for low power point-to-point and star transmission; suitable for ZigBee technology. It consists of a 20-pin through-hole-mount interface or 38-pad surface mount, and a U.FL jack or RP-SMA antenna. Variations in power consumption, RF frequency, and antenna type depend on the various brands of the product.
Zigbee is commonly used in mesh networks and in low power battery powered devices. Its low cost for transmission makes it ideal for IoT (Internet of Things) devices, especially in close range. Other Popular applications of ZigBee include:
- Building automation
- Energy management systems
- Home entertainment systems
- Remote controls
- Traffic management systems