CES Update: A Visit To The Zigbee Booth

We visited the Zigbee Alliance booth yesterday and talked to Atmel and TI reps. The very knowledgeable Atmel rep showed us a new development kit for Zigbee radios and gave us some of these modules above. We will be getting more information about this kit later on. The TI rep pointed us to the TI Engineer 2 Engineer Community.

7 thoughts on “CES Update: A Visit To The Zigbee Booth

  1. I too would like more info about the Atmel devel kit. Those modules look intriguing. I’ll bet they contain the newly announced atmega128rfa1 chips.

    I’m working on some similar zigbee modules myself. Check out my site for more details.

  2. well those things look cool and all, and they look like they do something with electromagnetic waves. but what are they really and what do they do? maybe i should click the link.. no luck..

  3. Zigbee is going to unwire Hackerdom in a fashion akin to what WiFi has done for Laptops. But we’d better Hack it RESPONSIBLY or we’ll kill it stillborn!

    My concerns about Zigbee are the “Signal to Noise” effects and simple RF overloads in small “clouds” As Zig embedded devices+WiFi embedded devices begin interacting with an exponential curve of WiFi “Hotspots” that chunk of 2.4 Ghz spectrum is at risk. If we Hack these Zig modules irresponsibly? We risk replicating the demise of 11 Meter Radio.. Zigbee today is like CB approx 1970 or so in my estimation. Flash forwards a few years and..

    In some urban areas, 11 Meters- the 27 Mhz “CB Radio” spectrum became literally saturated by overlap/splatter from crap grade transmitters running thru crappier amplifiers. All that was audible either AM or SSB modes was a growling buzz at times. Spread Spectrum modes do indeed have a greater tolerance for saturation of a freq range. But? there’s a mathematical reality that will get some harsh testing if Moore’s Law gets applied to Zigbee in our consumer daily life.

    We’re beginning to hack Software Defined Radio as a routine part of oh- Reflashing WiFi stuff. There’s a lesson to learn from CB Radio folks. *IF* some Hacking stunts generate crapstorms- the authorities WILL mandate “Robust Anti-modification Design Standards”

    So, let’s be damned careful about being good stewards of the RF spectrum as we Hack Zigbee etc.

    IF you think me paranoid or concerned about an impossible reality? Consider the Hackability of FRS talkies.. and then imagine if WiFi gear etc begins to be mandate protected against Hacking to the same levels.. Hack Responsibly is my closing point..

  4. Dude(s), I’d love to hack on those 802.15.4 modules: add the PyMite VM from pythononachip.org and the Chibi wireless stack and bingo, you’ve got a wireless, interactive, remotely python reprogrammable node.

  5. Those are ZigBit modules, originally developed by Meshnetics who were acquired by Atmel last year.
    I have used them quite a lot, the hardware is quite nice, but the Zigbee stack unreliable.

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