ZigBee Alliance pushes for IoT unification
IoT standards association, the ZigBee Alliance has announced that eight member companies have achieved certification for 20 silicon platforms which form the basis for ZigBee 3.0 products.
The large number of certifications gives product developers broad supply chain options for building lighting solutions, energy devices, sensors, controllers, gateways and other IoT objects that will work together using the industry’s most widely deployed common language between IoT devices.
“This is a key milestone for the ZigBee Alliance and gives IoT product developers the confidence of multiple silicon platform sources with which to create innovative, interoperable and future-proofed products and services,” says Moor Insights & Strategy IoT analyst Mike Krell.
Certified ZigBee 3.0 silicon platforms are now available from Atmel, Exegin, Qorvo (formerly GreenPeak Technologies), NXP, Samsung, Silicon Labs, Texas Instruments and ubisys, which serves the large community of ARM-based SOC developers.
Many ZigBee Alliance companies are also building product offerings on top of these silicon platforms, such as module vendors and contract engineering firms including CEL (California Eastern Laboratories), Digi, DSR, MMB Networks, Murata and San Juan Software.
“The strength of the ZigBee Alliance and our technologies has always been the diversity of our membership, which translates to choice in the supply chain and options around product development and support,” said ZigBee Alliance chief executive Tobin Richardson.
“With this first wave of certified ZigBee silicon platforms to choose from – and an ecosystem of ZigBee module, engineering and development tool vendors – we have opened a wide door to a new era of IoT growth and success.”
ZigBee 3.0 certified products based on the new platforms will be backward-compatible with existing ZigBee certified products that, collectively, represent the world’s largest installed base of IoT products. They will not just connect but also communicate using the same IoT language – speaking with each other and with millions of earlier ZigBee certified solutions already deployed in smart homes, buildings and neighbourhood area networks.
Central to the ZigBee Alliance value proposition is a commitment to standardising product development across all IoT networking layers, from the lower layers defining how products connect, all the way to the critically important application layer that determines whether products can communicate, perform tasks with each other and deliver a consistent, satisfying and secure user experience.
The organisation believes its unique application-layer focus is poised to help unify a fragmented IoT that, until now, has been divided into multiple independent segments with products that couldn’t interoperate without complex communication “translation” solutions – making it difficult to unlock growth opportunities or fuel innovation in smart homes, workplaces and cities.
“These are just the first of what we believe will be dozens of compliant silicon platform options as we move through 2017 and beyond, and will precede a wave of ZigBee certified end products,” said ZigBee Alliance vice president of technology Victor Berrios.
“Their availability, accompanied by the proliferation of our common, application-layer IoT language, will help drive benefits and capabilities to a significantly broader range of IoT applications and markets.”