Zigbee vs Thread | Difference between Zigbee and Thread
This page compares Zigbee vs Thread and mentions similarities and difference between Zigbee and Thread.
Both zigbee and Thread are used as low data rate wireless applications. They are used for smart home automation in IoT (Internet of Things) based applications. Both are defined in IEEE 802.15.4 standards.
What is Zigbee ?
Zigbee operates in two frequency bands viz. 898/915 MHz and 2450 MHz. It offers 20/40 Kbps and 250 Kbps data rates in these frequency bands respectively. Zigbee devices use sleep mode to conserve energy.
As shown zigbee network consists of coordinator (C), router (R) and end devices (E). It uses AODV protocol for routing of packets. Refer Zigbee tutorial to understand working of zigbee network and functions of each elements. The tutorial covers links to physical layer, MAC layer and application layer profiles.
Zigbee 3.0 is based on IEEE 802.15.4 which is designed for IoT applications. This standard compliant devices consume low power, offer low data rate and long battery life. It supports mesh topology which avoid single point of failure. It is scalable and secure network. Refer Zigbee 3.0 tutorial >> for more information on zigbee wireless technology.
What is Thread ?
Thread technology operates in 2.4 GHz band like zigbee. It offers secured mesh network for embedded, low power and low cost devices. The Thread Group was formed in the year 2014 with membership comprises 300+ industry leaders across consumer and industrial segments.
Thread network devices can access wifi via router using 6LoWPAN protocol in order to communicate with each other. Initially thread has been designed for home automation. It is also used in several industrial settings such as street lighting, building automation and so on.
Following are the features of thread wireless technology used for home and
• Frequency Band : 2.4 GHz ISM
• Throughput : 250 Kbps
• Topology : Mesh
• Number of devices : 250 to 300
• One hop range : Up to few hundreds of meters; routers can extend range through multihop
Refer advantages or benefits of Thread >> for Home Automation.
The figure depicts protocol stack layers of zigbee and thread wireless technologies.
Tabular difference between Zigbee and Thread
Following table mentions similarities and difference between Zigbee and Thread technologies.
|Frequency band||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz|
|Range||10 to 100 neters||10 to 100 meters|
|Data rate (max.)||250 Kbps||250 Kbps|
|Network Topology Type||Mesh||Mesh|
|Application layer defined||YES||NO|
|Battery life||Few years||Few years|
|Certification Program and Interoperability||End product certification||Stack certification|
|Security||Network wide encryption and authentication through install code||Password based authentication with DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer Security)|
|Cloud integration||Zigbee gateway||Thread border router|
|Latency performance for application packets||Best||Very good|
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