Zigbee, formally IEEE 802.15.4, is another short-range radio standard that uses the 2.4 GHz “microwave oven” band, alongside wireless Ethernet and Bluetooth. Compared to these others, Zigbee is most suited for low-power applications involving simple microcontrollers, for example wireless sensing, home and industrial automation, and so on. Its basic parameters are a data rate of up to 250 kbits/s and a typical range of 50 m.A small Linux box like the NSLU2 (aka Slug: 266 MHz XScale ARM processor, filesystem on a USB flash drive, takes about 5W, runs Debian GNU/Linux and other distributions) could be useful in a Zigbee deployment. For example, an always-on Slug could be responsible for logging data sent by remote sensors, and generating graphs on web pages, sending email alerts and so on.
April 4th, 2008