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UWB vs Insteon | Difference between UWB and Insteon

This page compares UWB vs Insteon and mentions difference between UWB and Insteon with respect to various comparison parameters.

What is UWB ?

UWB (Ultra Wide Band) technology uses spectrum larger than 500 MHz. In the year 2002, FCC has approved use of unlicensed spectrum within 3.1 to 10.6 GHz for UWB applications. It uses short duration EM (Electro-Magnetic) pulses for high speed data transfer over wide bandwidth (BW). UWB follows IEEE standard 802.15.4a/z. Due to its wide bandwidth it can be used for high data rate (~27 Mbps) communication. It is also popular due to its lower latency, low power consumption and high immunity to various interferences.

UWB Network

The figure depicts UWB network consisting of UWB anchors installed at various places. These anchors communicate with UWB tags and UWB smartphones, UWB lights and WiFi AP. The WiFi AP or router is interfaced with cloud via gateway. UWB technology is used for target sensor data collection from motion sensor, temperature sensor, light sensor etc. It can be used for precise location and tracking applications.

What is Insteon ?

Insteon technology has been developed by company called "Insteon" USA. This technology allows devices to communicate using RF, Powerline or both. The most common applications of insteon include smart home automation, electrical control applications etc. The typical insteon devices available in the market include home appliances, hub, sensors, control switch, keypads, thermostats, range extenders etc.

INSTEON network

The figure depicts typical Insteon network. As shown, insteon devices do not require router for communication. They can directly communicate in mesh mode.

Following are the features of Insteon technology.
• Supports dual band (RF and Powerline) in mesh topology mode
• Supports simulcast which can address hundreds of nodes simultaneously without any routing
• RF packets are smaller in size i.e. 14 bytes for standard and 28 bytes for extended message
• Powerline messages are also of two types viz. standard (10 byte long) and extended (24 bytes long)
• Devices are assigned with 24 bit address. Hence total of 16777216 devices are supported in the network.
• There are total of 65536 commands used in Insteon system.
• Powerline physical layer uses BPSK and RF physical layer uses FSK modulation types respectively.

Difference between UWB and Insteon

Following table mentions difference between UWB and Insteon with respect to various parameters.

Features UWB Insteon
Data Rate 110 Mbps 13165 bps (Instantaneous powerline), 2880 bps (Sustained Powerline), 38.4 Kbps (Instantaneous RF)
Physical layer RF RF, Powerline or both
Operating Frequency band 3.1 to 10.6 GHz 915 MHz (US), 131.65 KHz
Modulation type BPSK, QPSK FSK in RF PHY, BPSK in Powerline PHY
Range (Indoor) 300 meters ~90 meters unobstructed LOS using λ/2 dipole antenna
Security AES Unique addressing with unique ID codes, AES-256 for message encryption
Number of nodes 8 Unlimited (Theoretically), 1000 (Practically)
Network Configuration Peer to peer, Star, Multi-hop Full mesh
Energy consumption High Medium
References IEEE 802.15.4a/z https://www.insteon.com/

Summary: UWB is used for tracking and location determination with high accuracy using wireless link at radio frequency as well as high data rate low latency applications. Insteon is used for low data rate wired/wireless monitor and control applications such as smart home automation, smart building automation etc.

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