Low-power wireless sensor networks built upon the 802.15.4 specification provide new opportunities for connecting homes, commercial buildings, factories, and numerous other different device types. The low-power, low-cost, mesh networking capabilities of 802.15.4 make it a viable technology across a number of different IoE vertical markets. Solutions based on 802.15.4 such as ZigBee have significant potential in smart metering, home automation, smart lighting, industrial automation, supply and warehouse automation, healthcare, and medical applications, in addition to other nascent IoE markets.

Although there is little doubt this market holds huge potential, division still remains between mesh solutions as well as P2P and proprietary solutions. The protocol battle between ZigBee, Thread, WirelessHART, ISA100.11a, IP, and sub-1GHz / 2.4GHz implementations continues to raise interesting market opportunities and challenges, making it a critical juncture for silicon vendors in terms of features, form factor, and ASPs. In addition, competition from Bluetooth Smart, low-power Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, LP-WAN, and other low-power wireless connectivity solutions provide new challenges in what has erstwhile been an 802.15.4 dominated landscape, while the emergence of combo and multi-protocol SoCs provides new ways for 802.15.4 and other wireless connectivity IC suppliers to differentiate their products and target new IoE applications.


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