Support for 802.15.4 (6LoWPAN & Zigbee)
#1
HI,

For wireless interfaces, it appears that WiFi and BLE are going to be supported. However, it would be extremely useful if one or more IEEE 802.15.4 interfaces were added. This would allow the device to perform the role of a 6LoWPAN edge router or a Zigbee coordinator. The price point of the Pine64 with a IEEE 802.15.4 interface would allow an economical creation of an IoT network using 6LoWPAN or Zigbee devices. The Hub from Smartthings costs $99, and has a wired Ethernet interface, an IEEE 802.15.4, Bluetooth, and Z-wave interfaces. Also, it is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9, with 2 USB ports, 512MB DDR3 RAM, and 4GB FLASH. Thus, a Pine64 with a IEEE 802.15.4 interface is a much more powerful system with a much lower cost.

So please, consider adding a IEEE 802.15.4 interface. (Note: the Z-wave is an older and proprietary interface. To me, it is not that important.) The cost to add a IEEE 802.15.4 should be less than $5. For example, take a look at ATMEL ATmega256rfr2.

Regards
dperkins3600
#2
(01-19-2016, 02:17 PM)dperkins3600 Wrote: HI,

For wireless interfaces, it appears that WiFi and BLE are going to be supported. However, it would be extremely useful if one or more IEEE 802.15.4 interfaces were added. This would allow the device to perform the role of a 6LoWPAN edge router or a Zigbee coordinator. The price point of the Pine64 with a IEEE 802.15.4 interface would allow an economical creation of an IoT network using 6LoWPAN or Zigbee devices. The Hub from Smartthings costs $99, and has a wired Ethernet interface, an IEEE 802.15.4, Bluetooth, and Z-wave interfaces. Also, it is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9, with 2 USB ports, 512MB DDR3 RAM, and 4GB FLASH. Thus, a Pine64 with a IEEE 802.15.4 interface is a much more powerful system with a much lower cost.

So please, consider adding a IEEE 802.15.4 interface. (Note: the Z-wave is an older and proprietary interface. To me, it is not that important.) The cost to add a IEEE 802.15.4 should be less than $5. For example, take a look at ATMEL ATmega256rfr2.

Regards
dperkins3600
Currently we plan on using TI Zigbee CC2530 chip, but not sure about 6LoWPAN.
#3
Good to hear that you are looking at supporting IEEE 802.115.4 interfaces. However, in looking at the spec sheet for the TI CC2530, this chip does not seem appropriate for a Zigbee coordinator or a 6LoWPAN device because it has only 8KB of RAM. This would be fine for a network where there a just a couple of other devices, but for a modern home or an office building, there will be 10 to 250 devices whose state will need to be held in RAM, plus the buffers that you will need. The ATmega128rfa2 has 128KB of flash, 16KB of RAM, and 8KB of "EEPROM" (persistent storage, say, for keying material). The ATmega256rfr2 has twice the flash, RAM, and EEPROM. More than likely, chips with similar specs are available from other vendors. For example, the TI CC2538SF23 has 256KB of flash and 32KB of RAM and supports both Zigbee and 6LoWPAN.

So, bottom line, please make choose a chip that has the resources so it can be used in a "working" (and not "demo") network environment.
#4
(01-19-2016, 07:52 PM)dperkins3600 Wrote: Good to hear that you are looking at supporting IEEE 802.115.4 interfaces. However, in looking at the spec sheet for the TI CC2530, this chip does not seem appropriate for a Zigbee coordinator or a 6LoWPAN device because it has only 8KB of RAM. This would be fine for a network where there a just a couple of other devices, but for a modern home or an office building, there will be 10 to 250 devices whose state will need to be held in RAM, plus the buffers that you will need. The ATmega128rfa2 has 128KB of flash, 16KB of RAM, and 8KB of "EEPROM" (persistent storage, say, for keying material). The ATmega256rfr2 has twice the flash, RAM, and EEPROM. More than likely, chips with similar specs are available from other vendors. For example, the TI CC2538SF23 has 256KB of flash and 32KB of RAM and supports both Zigbee and 6LoWPAN.

So, bottom line, please make choose a chip that has the resources so it can be used in a "working" (and not "demo") network environment.

We have the Zigbee stack for CC2530 and also experience on such porting. Unless there is developer interest on the development for ATmega256rfr2 or CC2538SF23, our resource is thin.
#5
I understand your resource limitations. However, using limited resources to create something that is not appropriate for the expected purpose seems to be a waste. Before making a commitment to this choice, is there any way that you can validate that the chip and stack can function as a Zigbee coordinator with a population of, say, 100 devices. If so, then can you stress it by determining the max number of OTA firmware upgrades can be supported. And, you still do not know if the chip can support 6LoWPAN. The other chips that I suggested do have support for both Zigbee and 6LoWPAN. Maybe ATMEL or TI can validate whether or not their code and be used and support the use as a Zigbee coordinator with a population upto 250, and as a 6LoWPAN edge router.
Again - glad that you are looking at this.
#6
I bought the IoT package. If I understand correctly the current device is based on a Realtek RTL8723BS. Therefore, I guess that is not zigbee interface on the current configuration. What do I need to add if I want to use my PINE64 as Zigbee coordinator? Do you will release soon a new Wifi + BT module that includes also Zigbee or do I need to use another interface? What do you recommend in this case?
#7
(07-27-2016, 09:05 AM)FrenchFrog Wrote: I bought the IoT package. If I understand correctly the current device is based on a Realtek RTL8723BS. Therefore, I guess that is not zigbee interface on the current configuration. What do I need to add if I want to use my PINE64 as Zigbee coordinator? Do you will release soon a new Wifi + BT module that includes also Zigbee or do I need to use another interface? What do you recommend in this case?

The RTL8723BS only for Wifi and Bluetooth, and cannot figure as Zigbig even all there using same 2.4G radio. For Zigbee coordinator, you can use the USB dongle way but make sure that there is driver for your OS.


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