Zigbee vs WirelessHART-Difference between Zigbee and WirelessHART

This page compares Zigbee vs WirelessHART and mentions difference between Zigbee and WirelessHART technologies in tabular form.


Zigbee network architecture

Zigbee is a simple packet data protocol designed for light weight wireless networks. The PHY/MAC layers are defined in IEEE 802.15.4 specifications. Channel access in zigbee is via CSMA/CA. Zigbee network composed of Zigbee co-ordinator, zigbee router and zigbee end devices.

Zigbee operates at various frequency bands viz. 868MHz, 915MHz and 2.4 GHz. Out of these 2.4 GHz based zigbee products are very popular around the world. Based on antenna, transmitter output power and frequency it will cover about 10 to 100 meters. Zigbee supports mesh topology. Zigbee products delivers about 250Kbps of data rate. About 65000 devices are supported in a zigbee network.

Latest to zigbee standards is zigbee 3.0 version. The zigbee 3.0 specification enables interoperability among different application profiles. Due to this, zigbee 3.0 allows devices from different application areas to communicate and form single homogeneous network. For example, device#1 from zigbee light profile can coexist with device#2 from health care profile with same zigbee network.
Refer Zigbee tutorial➤ and Zigbee 3.0 tutorial➤ for more information.


WirelessHART network architecture

Following are the key features of WirelessHART technology:
• TDMA/CSMA based wireless mesh networking technology
• WirelessHART network consists of field devices, gateway, network manager, security manager and handheld devices.
• Uses 16 channels with 5MHz gap in 2.4GHz band.
• Supports 128 bit AES encryption.
Refer Article on WirelessHART basics➤.

The table below mentions difference between Zigbee and WirelessHART wireless technologies with respect to similarities and differences.

Features Zigbee WirelessHART
Topology supported Star and Mesh Star and Mesh
Frequency Bands 868/915 MHz, 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz
Standard IEEE 802.15.4 IEEE 802.15.4, HART comm. protocol
MAC mechanism CSMA/CD TDMA
Channel Hopping Not supported Supported
Ability to cope with very large networks No Yes
Latency and reliability determinism No Yes
Built-in security features Yes Yes
Wireless mesh routing Supported Supported
Data rate 250 Kbps 250 Kbps
Range about 100 meters about 100 meters
Power consumption Low Medium
Cost Medium Medium

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