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ZigBee® or PopNet®?

San Juan Software has been an active participant in the ZigBee Alliance for more than 10 years. Our CTO, Drew Gislason wrote the book used by software developers implementing ZigBee called “ZigBee Wireless Networking”. We have also collaborated on several ZigBee stacks and ZigBee application profiles for semiconductor companies like Freescale and Texas Instruments. So we recommend ZigBee whenever it makes good sense. If you are a semiconductor company and want a quote on a ZigBee Pro or RF4CE stack please contact us

Why Use ZigBee?

As a recognized standard, ZigBee provides a number of benefits for wireless sensor and control networking over proprietary solutions.  Building ZigBee certified devices allows you to participate in markets like Home Automation and Smart Energy where ZigBee has already established a foothold. Your devices can interoperate in networks of other certified devices.

If you choose to use ZigBee, consider asking San Juan Software to help with Software Services .

When Should PopNet Be Used?

When a device manufacturer does not want to interoperate with competitors.

·         If you have complete control over all devices in the network, you will have less support and security problems from other devices being added.

·         If you already “own” a market, why give a competitor a foothold by using an open standard?

·         If your devices are not targeted at the specific markets ZigBee addresses, there are no other devices to interoperate with, no certification program and the ZigBee logo is not allowed.

·         If ZigBee has not gained enough mindshare in your target market, even if it is a market ZigBee want to penetrate, the benefits may not be there. 

·         You can still interoperate with partners by giving them access to your application so they can create their own PopNet based devices.

To Reduce Complexity

The ZigBee specification tries to address most conditions in the ZigBee stack. This can lead to a large code and memory footprint as well as complexities in developing with ZigBee.

PopNet includes all of the most important features in the stack and provides a simple means to address other needs in the application. As a result:

·         PopNet has a smaller footprint.

·         PopNet is less complex and takes about half the time to write an application.

·         In general, less complexity leads to fewer errors in the code.

Beyond 2.4GHz and 802.15.4

PopNet is portable to any transceiver and is not restricted to the IEEE 802.15.4 PHY and MAC or even 2.4GHz. PopNet source code is available in a special kit and has been ported to microwave and sub-GHz radios.

PopNet and the Internet of Things (IoT)

By 2020, it has been estimated that there may be 50 billion devices connected to the “Internet of Things”, supplying sensor data and control access, when needed, where needed. There will be many protocols used including standards like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and many other protocols. With the PopNet serial gateway, it is easy to provide internet access to your PopNet based network. The same gateway can be enhanced to interoperate with ZigBee, Wi-Fi, or even other proprietary protocols. It’s all under your control.

Check out our Freescale Page for more information on Training, Software Services and PopNet for Freescale transceivers.