Comparison of wireless data transfer module technologies(Part 1)

As there are more and more types of wireless communication technologies, there are more and more choices for customer, but different communication technologies have different characteristics, and we will choose suitable solutions according to the characteristics.


Comparing the following wireless communication technology:


1. Bluetooth


2. Wi-Fi


3. Technology based on IEEE 802.15.4 (Thread, Zigbee)


4. Z-Wave


5. Cellular low-power wide area network technology (NB-IoT, LTE-M)


6. Non-cellular low-power wide area network technology (LoRaWAN, Sigfox)


Due to the content of the article, the article will be divided into two articles, please check the Part 2 later.


1. Bluetooth:

Bluetooth technology is a low-power wireless solution operating on the 2.4 GHz ISM frequency band. Over the years, Bluetooth technology has continued to expand, and now has great flexibility in terms of distance, bandwidth, and communication topology to meet the needs of different IoT applications.


technical details:

There are currently two different Bluetooth radio options: Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy module (Bluetooth LE). Classic Bluetooth (or BR/EDR), the original Bluetooth radio, is still widely used in streaming applications, especially audio streaming. Bluetooth Low Energy is mainly used for low-bandwidth applications where data is frequently transmitted between devices. Bluetooth Low Energy is known for its extremely low power consumption and its popularity in smart phones, tablets and personal computers.


Bluetooth Low Energy is divided into point-to-point, Star Topology, mesh Topology and broadcast topologies. In the mesh topology, nodes are directly connected without communicating with other nodes through the hub. Nodes can send data and information to other nodes outside the communication range of the original source node, expanding the network coverage in a large area. Related Bluetooth products: Silicon Labs Bluetooth Module SIG MESH | FSC-BT671


2. Wi-Fi:

Wi-Fi is the brand name of all IEEE 802.11 standard wireless local area networks (WLAN). The working frequency band of Wi-Fi is usually 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz ISM, but newer versions of Wi-Fi also use other frequency bands.


technical details:

There are many versions of Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi Alliance recently adopted a new version numbering system: Wi-Fi 1 (802.11b), Wi-Fi 2 (802.11a), Wi-Fi 3 (802.11g), Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n), Wi -Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). The latest version can meet the needs of various applications, including longer distances, higher throughput and larger coverage. The most popular Wi-Fi topology is the star topology. But in the star topology, nodes can only communicate with each other through the hub.


3. Technology based on IEEE 802.15.4 (Thread, Zigbee)

IEEE 802.15.4 technology refers to the low-speed wireless personal area network (LR-WPAN) access layer.


Technical details:

Thread and Zigbee are two technologies based on this specification. They are characterized by low power consumption and low data rate. IEEE 802.15.4 is mainly used in application scenarios where data is small, distance is short, and low power consumption is required at the same time. Although this technology also supports star topology, the most commonly used is mesh topology. Related Reading:Comparison of wireless data transfer module technologies(Part 2)


For more content, please check the next article... ...

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