Energy Efficiency

ZigBee Low-power IPv6 Networking for Home Energy Management

The ZigBee Alliance today announced it has completed testing and development of 920IP, an update to ZigBee IP, the first open, global standard for an IPv6 based full wireless mesh networking solution to control low power, low cost devices. Alliance members have been developing 920IP in response to Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) designation of 920 MHz for use in HEMS and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) endorsement of ECHONET Lite as a smart home standard. The ZigBee Alliance has entered into agreements with Telecommunications Technology Committee (TTC) and ECHONET Consortium to support the development efforts. Development efforts of the updated standard were led by OKI, NEC Engineering, Ad-Sol Nissin, Texas Instruments and Skyley Networks.

"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. Now we welcome the completion of global standardization of the 920IP by ZigBee Alliance. Adding this new option may lead wider deployment of energy management solutions and expansion of the market in Japan."

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. It 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."

"As an organization with expertise in creating standards widely used by consumers and utilities around the world, we are very excited to complete this work that can deliver benefits to consumers in Japan," said Tobin Richardson, President and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. "Japan holds the second largest number of Alliance member companies and we are fortunate to have expert members leading this important work."

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. ZigBee Certified is a mature testing and certification program that has certified over 900 products from manufacturers around the world.

ZigBee Alliance
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