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Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide | Print |
Written by Akiba   
Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I put together a Zigbee/802.15.4 chip comparison guide. There is another one up on the web , but it hasn't been updated since 2004. I thought I would put together the 2008 version since a lot of the info on the 2004 chart is a bit obsolete. Such as:

  • The AT86RF210 is EOL'd
  • CompXS was purchased by Integrated
  • Ember's EM2420 was a re-marked CC2420 which disappeared after TI purchased Chipcon
  • ZMD no longer makes their Zigbee chip. I think they cut some deal with Renesas which gave them the IP
So I figured it was time for an update. I don't guarantee the accuracy of the tables, although I took all of the information from the datasheets on the vendors' websites. Also, I initially tried to do it in HTML tables, but HTML tables suck. So I put the tables together in an external program and then exported it as a JPG. Hopefully, you can read it. The first table is a comparison guide for transceivers only. You can click on it to get the full JPG. All values are "typical" unless stated otherwise. The font is a bit small due to the size of the table so I've included a PDF document at the end of the post in case it's difficult to read.

Zigbee Chip Comparison - Transceivers

The second comparison table is for integrated MCUs + Transceivers. The integrated category is quite complex and I might expand this one later.  Integrating an MCU and a radio is difficult because many features come into play: ADC, ADC Resolution, number of timers, types of timers, GPIO, development tools, architecture, etc... I might need to make a more comprehensive list, but here is the first stab at it. Regarding the power consumption values, in cases where a multi-chip module are used (they just stuck an MCU and a radio die on the same substrate), the power values are given as separate MCU and RF numbers since I couldn't get the actual total consumption value. If anyone can correct me on these, please let me know...

Zigbee Chip Comparison Integrated MCU and Transceiver

In case these images are too small, I've made the PDF available here as well as an easy pdf download link at the bottom of this page. If you find any mistakes or if I left out anything significant, please feel free to drop me an email or leave a comment or send me a private message (see, there is some benefit to being registered) or post on the discussion forum or instant message me. Just kidding. I don't like instant messaging much.

Click Here to download the PDF

 

Updated 2008-12-05: Added AT86RF231 and MC13224 chips to the chip comparison guide.
Updated 2008-12-12: Fixed to include the Microchip MRF24J40 and the Radiopulse MG2400. These were cut off by the margins on the PDF utility.

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written by Roger Lin, March 20, 2008
This is a great info! Thanks! The JPEG's are a bit hard to read, but the PDF is fine.
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written by Akiba, March 20, 2008
Thanks. Glad you like it. If you know of any other chips that should be included, let me know.
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meshnetics
written by bulletman, April 10, 2008
Nice tables! But what about meshnetics.com? It's basically an ATMEL microcontroller with a an ATMEL ZigBee engine.
Very nice website btw.
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MeshNetics
written by Akiba, April 10, 2008
Meshnetics is mostly a Zigbee software and modules company. Actually, they have the TinyOS based OpenMAC available on sourceforge as well. However as mentioned, their module is Atmel based and Atmel is already covered in my list. This comparison list was just for chip manufacturers. I'm thinking about doing a module comparison later, but I'm still not sure yet.
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Excellent job!! Any pricing info?
written by Albin, April 14, 2008
Thanks for the valuable info!
Do you have any pricing info, or comparision? I've searched quite a lot but couldn't find nothing about pricing for UBEC and such.

Cheers!
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written by Akiba, April 14, 2008
Individual pricing varies based on quantity, region, distributor, competition, and the tier level of the customer (ie: Tier 1 customers are usually the ones that place huge orders). Because of the variables, it's basically not possible to put a price down that is really applicable. The best bet would be to check on Digi-key of http://www.findchips.com. For UBEC, you'd probably need to check on their website or email them to get the distributor info for your area. Or you can check the price for Microchip's part. Most likely, UBEC would never be higher than Microchip since Microchip's part seems to be a re-marked UBEC.
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written by fdhfgh, March 14, 2011
supra shoes trade are known as the Masai barefoot technology, and they can find the right shoes are the way of Physiology.Just because they sold at discounted value does not mean that they are unnoticed
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Discuss (12 posts)

Parag Bagde
Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 04 2008 07:37:32
This thread discusses the Content article: Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide

Hi Akiba,

Congradulations!!!
It's a nice forum for new ZigBee developers and informative too.

Please give a information on ZigBee Stack used on different ZigBee transceiver.

Thank You.....
#193

Akiba
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 04 2008 07:48:31
Thanks. I need to update a lot of the info since it was made about 6 months ago. A lot has changed since then and a lot more information became available.
#194
nithin
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 05 2008 13:14:00
Hello Akiba

Nithin here from Bangalore, India. I am very new to Zigbee, i am working on a Home Automation and building project, here various sensors are housed on each floor. They have to be networked and also the range has to very large. I have been searching for Reference Power Amplifier Designs for quite some time now but until now i am unable to find any reference design except cc2591. I need something similar for 800-900Mhz Frequency range, i.e. RF Front end for AT86RF212 or CC1101. Please enlighten me

Thank you
Regards
Nithin
#195

Akiba
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 05 2008 14:49:37
You may also want to check out the UBEC module user guide which has the UBEC 802.15.4 transceiver along with a RF amp and LNA. The Tx power is +22dBm which is actually higher than the CC2591 and the Rx sensitivity is -101 dBm which rivals the Atmel radio. You can find the user guide for the module including the schematic here:

Link
#196

TheXman
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 11 2008 06:03:11
Hi Nithin,
You can find many 2.4Ghz RF Hi-power schematic designs.
Are looking for readymade HI-Power module or you want
design it yourself?
You check with PA's available with SeGe. You can also check
RIF411 FEM, which has in buiit Switch and LNA PA.
#201
nithin
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 11 2008 08:40:58
Hello TheXman

Thank you TheXman for useful information.
Actually i am looking for a RF Front End(switch,PA and LNA in one chip) for AT86RF212 to increase the range to 10 Km. Also i am also looking for RF Front End for At86rf231(2.4Ghz) to increase the range to 5km. If i find a RF Front End IC i.e. IC with switch, LNA and PA it would make my work easier else i would have to find individual LNA, PA and switch and integrate them. I request you to provide me with the links of High Power RF designs. I have found only 2 reference designs for 2.4Ghz modules. Also i tried to download RIF411 FEM datasheet, i am unable to find the datasheet itself. So could please provide me with the link. Also what is the full name of company SEGE? Can you also provide me with link for the SEGE Company?
Thank you

Best Regards
Nithin Prakash
#202

Wolverine
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Sep 12 2008 06:03:05
Hi Nithin,

Sorry for my spell mistakes.
You can check for RIF211 on www.rfarrays.com. You can download datasheet from the website. I have implemented this FEM for audio module which give range around 1km.
It also works fine with 802.15.4/ZigBee modules.
For other PA's you can visit to www.sige.com, here you have to search for PA suitable to requirement.
#206
pavan
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Oct 13 2008 12:57:39
Hi,
I have some doubts in MAC layer of zigbee.
What is the bevaviour of MAC when it receives a request from higher layer while previous request is in the middle of processing. Say for example what is the behaviour of MAC when it receives MCPS-POLL.request command when the previous command say MCPS-DATA.request is being processed currently
#286

Akiba
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Oct 13 2008 14:06:07
In the case of a non-pre-emptive OS, you wouldn't need to worry about this because normally, you would execute until you reach the end of your call chain. So if you're doing a data request, you will probably keep on running until you reach the mac tx function, which should send the data to the radio. Then you would handle the poll request.

If you're using a pre-emptive OS, then you would need to take care of these type of synchronization issues on your own. However most of the Zigbee stacks I've seen so far are single threaded and even if they are run on a multi-threaded OS, are run inside their own process.
#289
Jayakrishnan V
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Dec 23 2009 19:22:08
Good comparison table. But one thing missing is range ( distance ) offered by these devices. Can anyone comment which is the best in terms of distance it can cover. Can I understand this by looking at output power. Is there a chip/module which can give 1Km ?
#1526

Akiba
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Dec 24 2009 01:26:24
Range isn't missing. It is dependent on the location, obstacles, topography, channel traffic, etc. Hence it would be different for different people in different locations. Instead, the tx power and rx sensitivity implies the range. The greater the link budget (tx power + rx sensitivity), potentially the greater the range. Range can also be increased by using antennas with directional gain so range isn't really a good indicator of chip performance.
#1528
nithin
Re:Zigbee/802.15.4 Chip Comparison Guide
Dec 24 2009 03:49:05
As Akiba rightly said range depends on lot of factors. U should use the application note from Atmel
to arrive at number for Range. In the atmel Application note pdf there is an excel attachment
for range calculation. Feed in TX gain, RX gain, Rx sensitivity, TX power and factor n, which depends on operating conditions (n factor is very important, read abt it app note) to get the
range offered by device.

Range Calculation App note can be found below
http://www.atmel.com/dyn/resources/prod_documents/doc9144.pdf
#1529


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