The ZigBee Alliance has completed testing and development of 920IP, an update to its ZigBee IP specification that brings full IPv6 'internet of things” connectivity to its wireless mesh networking standard for wirelessly connecting low power, low cost control devices and sensors.
According to Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance, its members have been developing 920IP in response to Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) designation of 920 MHz for use in home energy networking.
As a part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade.Industry (METI) endorsement of ECHONET Lite as a smart home standard, he said, the ZigBee Alliance has entered into agreements with Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) and ECHONET Consortium to support the development efforts.
“ZigBee Alliance has been leading in the global standardization of M2M communication and home networks,” said Yoichi Maeda, CEO and SVP of TTC. “In 2013, TTC signed a MOU with ZigBee Alliance and enacted the TTC standard JJ-300.10 and TTC technical report TR-1043. Adding this new option may lead wider deployment of energy management solutions and expansion of the market in Japan.”
Richardson said 920IP provides specific support for ECHONET Lite and the requirements of Japanese Home Energy Management systems (HEMS).
“It enhances the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers and an application framework,” he said, “and offers a cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless multi-hop mesh network based on standard Internet protocols, such as 6LoWPAN, IPv6, RPL, and UDP. It also supports security and authentication features such TLS-PSK, EAP and PANA and link layer frame security based on the AES-128-CCM algorithm.
“ECHONET Lite is used as a standard of application interface of HEMS in Japan,” said Morio Hirahara, representative Director of ECHONET Consortium. “Having IP with 920MHz option by the ZigBee Alliance as one of the recommended protocols for ECHONET Lite, higher interoperability and more wide deployment will be expected.”
Development efforts of the updated standard were led by OKI, NEC Engineering, Ad-Sol Nissin, Texas Instruments and Skyley Networks.
Richardson said the Alliance will soon announce an extension of the ZigBee Certified program to certify end products for ECHONET Lite devices using 920IP. The program is being developed in cooperation with the ECHONET Consortium and will insure both conformance to the standards and interoperability between products from different manufacturers.