In this Tech Talk session, Chris League, Field Applications Engineer for Silicon Labs, talked about the Zigbee software structure and demonstrated some helpful plugins and callbacks needed for developing your SoC design. Click here to watch the complete webinar and register now for future Tech Talks. Here are some key points from Chris’ session.
The Power of the Zigbee Alliance
Zigbee is one of the most widely deployed mesh networks in the market today. These primary markets consist of connected home, connected lighting, smart energy, and commercial/industrial IoT. With more than 400 member companies in the world, the Zigbee Alliance has developed more than 2,500 certified devices with more than 300 million products deployed.
The Zigbee Alliance is both the foundation and the future of IoT. The organization develops open, global standards for IoT devices, help certify products to ensure interoperability, and promote the use of standards globally. Silicon Labs sits on the alliance’s Board of Directors, among other IoT leaders in the market.
Zigbee and the Network Protocol Stack
The Zigbee PRO stack starts with the PHY layer at IEEE 802.15.4, which defines the radio characteristics and the receiving of the physical packets. The Zigbee Alliance then specifies the Zigbee stack on top of PHY, from the MAC layer up to the ZCL or the clusters (Zigbee’s standardized way of describing “things”) needed for the design. The Zigbee stack organizes the mesh network – from route discovery, device discovery, message relay, security, and the feature set. The Zigbee PRO stack ends with the User Application layer on top where initiating and joining a network happens, as well as the sending and receiving of messages, network management, and device relationship resolution.
Zigbee devices are members of an intelligent Routing Mesh where protocol packets are not only used to send messages but also to manage the mesh network.
The System-on-Chip Architecture
As a one-chip solution, the System-on-Chip (SoC) architecture is best for applications like sensors or door locks because it features minimal external components, lowest BOM cost, and ease of design.
Getting Things Done with the AppBuilder in Simplicity Studio
The Zigbee code structure can be derived from its application framework architecture categorized into the Silicon Labs code and the User code. The Silicon Labs code is basically a library of the EmberZNet stack and the Main function. We control the Main function while developers access and write codes based on callbacks. The User Code also consists of the application code and the configuration files generated by the AppBuilder.
The AppBuilder resides in Simplicity Studio. It is the developers’ tool for managing profiles and clusters, generating configuration files, putting plugins to work, implementing callbacks, and creating events.
Get Zigbee Documentation and Support
Either you want to start with the basics and learn the Fundamentals of Zigbee or advance your knowledge by reading the Zigbee Application Framework Developer’s Guide, there are several ways to get started with boosting your understanding of Zigbee concepts. To get answers for more specific and/or complex questions, and access our Training Resources, Community, Forum, and Knowledge Base Articles, visit our Tech Support page.