Will Google’s Open Source Radio protocol on 6LoWPAN replace ZigBee and Z-Wave?

Google promised to release open source code for a 868/915 MHz wireless mesh protocol. It will be a low cost alternative to Zigbee or Z-Wave. It shall require less than 16 Kbytes RAM and 32 Kbytes flash. The target of the bill of material is 30 percent less than Zigbee Pro. The Google protocol will support frequency hopping. The base will be 6LoWPAN. 6LoWPAN: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6LoWPAN.

In September 2010 we published a 6LoWPAN radio module that is supporting 868/915 MHz: http://www.gsm-modem.de/M2M/m2m-componets/low-power-network-module-with-ip-addresses-2/
Based on this 6LoWPAN radio module plus a USB dongle with 6LoWPAN radio module customers can start to write software and to test. Because Google will use 6LoWPAN as well, we assume that there are not big changes or even so changes at customer’s software.

Beginning of this year we showed this 6LoWPAN module connected to a router. It was possible to communicate by Android smarthpone to the router on WIFI. The router forwarded the packages to the 6LoWPAN USB dongle. And from the dongle it was able to reach several 6LoWPAN radio modules wired to LED lamps. These LED lamps could be powered ON/OFF and even dimmed. This 6LoWPAN module supported 868/915 MHz like Google too.

These 6LoWPAN radio modules are already free o f licensing. The only difference to Google is the missing frequency hopping and that Google promised to deliver end of the year and that we delivered already.

But, this is not all. Last week we got another USB dongle, which holds a cheap Microchip PIC controller with USB interface to be connected to your PC or router. It also holds an inexpensive 868/915 MHz radio chip, a crystal and a ceramic antenna. Right now it runs a proprietary radio link protocol.
As soon as Google will be able to help use with the promised protocol we will be able to start testing.

The news of Google has not surprised use really. Anyhow, we will keep you posted by further blog posts related to 6LoWPAN radio modules, projects and products. If you cannot wait or have already further questions or would like to get an offer for the 6LoWPAN radio evaluation kit, then please do not hesitate to send an email to harald.naumann (at) gsm-modem.de or using the form here.


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  1. Is this the much talked about Android@home RF radio Google is suppose to be releasing?

  2. One is Android@Home see blog post here:
    and the other is the Open Source radio protocol. There are several new blog posts since you have add your command.
    Anyhow, I am prepared to support both. I am a fan of Google and the openness of Android.

  3. Google promised the Open Source Radio protocol for end of 2011. The evaluation kits for Android@Home we can ship today. Our 6LoWPAN evaluation kits on 868 / 915 MHz are in stock as well.

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