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ZigBee Alliance Adds Global IT Standards To Its Growing Portfolio

The ZigBee Alliance announced it will incorporate global IT standards from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) into its specification portfolio of low-power wireless networking standards. This should help to further advance the growth of Smart Grid applications that have widely adopted the proven ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile.

By incorporating IETF standards, ZigBee Smart Energy products will enhance their application capabilities with native internet protocol (IP) support. ZigBee members will also benefit from the knowledge and experience contained in IETF standards for large-scale network addressability, security, and IT integration.

Through cooperation with IETF, ZigBee members will create additional solutions for wireless sensor and control networks as part of the new specification. Internet connectivity is currently provided by existing ZigBee specifications; however, the addition of native IP support will offer tighter integration from wireless devices all the way to large scale utility IT networks.

The Alliance provides low-power wireless networking standards that are open, extensible, and easily upgradable. It will build on the success of existing Smart Grid deployments of smart meters and Home Area Networks (HAN) using the ZigBee Smart Energy profile. This will assist global standardization efforts for Smart Grid applications including HAN devices, plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), distributed generation, and storage applications.

ZigBee Smart Energy is the only standardized home area network solution in the market today meeting the tough requirements of leading utilities and energy service providers worldwide. The deployment of an estimated 30 million ZigBee-equipped smart meters is underway in North America.

ZigBee Smart Energy enables wireless communication between utilities, energy service providers, and common household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. It improves energy efficiency by allowing consumers to choose interoperable products from different manufacturers giving them the means to manage their energy consumption more precisely using automation and near real-time information. It also helps utility companies implement new advanced metering and demand-response programs to drive greater energy management and efficiency, while responding to changing government requirements.

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