ZigBee adds to wireless mesh networking growth in industrial applications

Natick, MA—Shipments of wireless products using mesh networking will likely grow at a 60.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $25.1 million in 2007 from $6.1 million in 2004, according to a new study, “North American Market for RF/Microwave Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Discrete and Process Manufacturing,” by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).

By Control Engineering Staff July 19, 2005

Natick, MA— Wireless mesh networking is expected to make inroads into industrial monitoring and control applications, but not only because of the ZigBee standard, according to a new study, “North American Market for RF/Microwave Wireless Monitoring and Control Products in Discrete and Process Manufacturing,” by Venture Development Corp. (VDC).

The report projects that shipments of wireless products using mesh networking will grow at a 60.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $25.1 million in 2007 from $6.1 million in 2004.

Based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, ZigBee-enabled products used in industrial monitoring and control applications accounted for only $0.5 million in 2004, but are expected to account for about $7 million in 2007, according to VDC. Though ZigBee-ready products were available in 2004, the standard is still very new. The study adds that IEEE 802.15.4 was ratified in August 2003, while the ZigBee specification was finalized in December 2004, and the first official ZigBee-compliant products were shipped in April 2005.

In addition, of the $6.1 million in wireless products shipped in 2004, 91.8% were proprietary, while 8.2% were ZigBee. However, of the $25.1 million in wireless products that VDC projects will be shipped in 2007, 72.1% are expected to be proprietary, while 27.9% are expected to be ZigBee.

Based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, ZigBee is a global specification created by a multi-vendor consortium called the ZigBee Alliance. Whereas 802.15.4 defines the physical and MAC layers of an application, ZigBee defines the network/security layer, application framework and, in some cases, the application profile. ZigBee provides users in specific applications with a simple, low-cost global network that supports a large number of nodes with an extremely low power drain on the battery.

More information about the standard and the ZigBee alliance can be found at www.zigbee.org .

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com