6LoWPAN – ZigBee: BOM, SOC, price?

6LoWPAN question

I have looked with great interest at the information you have compiled on 6LowPAN.  This is good because the public information is so sparse. Looks like you are draining the cool aid instead of just talking about it.

There are many companies that have launched products in this space .. (Name deleted) being the latest one, but very little is published on pricing.

Since you have already got your hands dirty with this, can you please guide me at how much it would cost to add a 6LowPAN radio to a control point?

I am confused because (Name deleted) talks about the BOM being only $ 1 for a radio controlled (Name deleted) while the pricing for the modules appears to be in the tens of dollars.  Really appreciate your help and guidance

6LoWPAN answer

Believe me or not, but there is a package with 3 evaluation kits for 6LoWPAN and ZigBee on the stairs. I had no time to open it. Prices I would not like to tell, because I am working with a big distributor.
The cheapest system on chip I have seen in mice and keyboards. Even this SOC are more expensive then USD 1 in large quantities. ZigBee and 6LoWPAN is always more expensive, because the output power is higher and the size of the memory is bigger. The calculation power is higher as well. A keyboard is running on an 8-bit micro controller and a 6LoWPAN or ZigBee is running on 16-bit or better on 32-bit micro controllers. Please note that there is more than one ZigBee. The latest called ZigBee IP does need the most memory on the SOC.

Again, prices are depending on volume and on the concept. Even if you have the price for a complete system on chip including RF front end, micro controller, oscillators, RAM, FlashROM, RTC and all the other stuff on the SOC, then you will need crystals, antenna, PCB, connectors ….

On top of the BOM you have the costs for development, documentation, approvals, production and test. Nevertheless you have prime cost, costs for marketing, sales and support.
Anyhow, I am since 25 years in radio communication and always happy to support my customers with knowhow and experience I got in the past plus with my network of engineering offices to make studies, concepts or development for new wireless products. We are able to create a wireless module from scratch, but sometimes it is cheaper to take a wireless module out of the shelf (including all the upper mentioned costs on top of the BOM).
For further details or an offer just drop an email to harald.naumann (at) gsm-modem.de or use the form .

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  1. Harold is correct about pricing depending on volume and what deal one can get with the OEM for a completed module. I would look at companies that have depth of market and can afford to sale modules at a discount with the idea of further on the volume increasing. As BOMs go, like Harold said, it does depend on volume also –though I have put together a BOM of about $10 USD for a Semtech radio chip (433/868/915 MHZ)plus an H8 (Renesas) processor. That included all the needed components. The protocol/embedded software was free being open source (though in this particular case we paid partially for its development). Again referring to Harold’s comments, The BOM in and of itself is completely worthless without the RF certification requirements, the cost of R&D and testing, and the pre-stock of components for manufacturing to gain the economy of scale. Finally, adding the finished radio to a sensor requires additional software coding and hardware interfacing –more costs.

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