According to an In-Stat report, the potential of ZigBee is still unclear. ZigBee is the formal network, security, application-framework, and application-profile layer overlay on top of the 802.15.4 PHY (physical) and MAC (media-access-control) layers used in low-power wireless mesh networks. Currently, ZigBee technology targets building automation, industrial, medical, home automation, asset management, HVAC and other monitoring applications, the high-tech market research firm says. More applications will be invented as programmers acquire more understanding of the technology.
There are different philosophies among chipset manufacturers and their approaches to 802.15.4 and ZigBee applications. ZigBee promoters face competition from a variety of standards and consortia—both wired and wireless. Despite the lack of industry acceptance of ZigBee as the winning technology in the low-power mesh networking space, ZigBee chipsets will see a change in annual growth of 111%, with chipset units reaching 120 million in 2011.
Recent Research Findings
- There is a surge in interest in ZigBee technology for Automated Meter Infrastructure.
- Adoption in the consumer electronics is expected to be low because of competing technologies.
- Total ZigBee/802.15.4 node and chipset units will reach 120 million in 2011, up from 5 million in 2006.
- The ZigBee Pro feature set released to members in October 2007 includes: network scalability, fragmentation, frequency agility, automated device address management, group addressing, wireless commissioning, and centralized data collection.
The ZigBee 2007 research report covers the worldwide market for ZigBee technology. It includes a chipset forecast through 2011, and information gathered from interviews with significant companies in the field, and consideration of product specifications and data sheets. Companies from all parts of the 802.15.4/ZigBee infrastructure were interviewed. Silicon IC vendors, MCU manufacturers, systems integrators, and distributed software writers were among the key categories of companies consulted, in addition to the ZigBee Alliance. The price is $3,495 (US).
More info: ZigBee 2007: What it Iz and What It Iz Not