XBee

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An XBee radio with a US Quarter. The XBee board is 24.38 mm (0.960 in) wide.[1]
Digi International, Inc.
Type Public (NASDAQDGII)
Industry Computer hardware
Founded 1985
Headquarters Minnetonka, MN, USA
Employees 600 (world-wide)
Website www.digi.com

XBee is the brand name from Digi International for a family of form factor compatible radio modules. The first XBee radios were introduced under the MaxStream brand in 2005[2] and were based on the 802.15.4-2003 standard designed for point-to-point and star communications at over-the-air baud rates of 250 kbit/s.[3]

Two models were initially introduced—a lower cost 1 mW XBee and the higher power 100 mW XBee-PRO.[4] Since the initial introduction, a number of new XBee radios have been introduced and all XBees are now marketed and sold under the Digi brand.

The XBee radios can all be used with the minimum number of connections – power (3.3 V), ground, data in and data out (UART), with other recommended lines being Reset and Sleep.[5] Additionally, most XBee families have some other flow control, I/O, A/D and indicator lines built in. A version of the XBees called the programmable XBee has an additional onboard processor for user’s code. The programmable XBee and a new surface mount (SMT) version of the XBee radios were both introduced in 2010.[6]

As of February 2013, the XBee radio family consists of[7]

  • XBee 802.15.4 – The initial point-to-point topology or star topology module running the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol
  • XBee-PRO 802.15.4 – A higher power, longer range version of the XBee 802.15.4
  • XBee DigiMesh 2.4 – A 2.4 GHz XBee module which uses DigiMesh, a sleeping mesh networking protocol developed by Digi International
  • XBee-PRO DigiMesh 2.4 – A higher power, longer range version of the XBee DigiMesh 2.4
  • XBee ZB – An XBee module that incorporates the ZigBee PRO mesh networking protocol
  • XBee-PRO ZB – A higher power, longer range version of the XBee ZB
  • XBee ZB SMT – A surface mount XBee running the ZigBee protocol
  • XBee-PRO ZB SMT – A higher power, longer range version of the XBee ZB SMT
  • XBee SE – An XBee ZB module that incorporates the security cluster for the ZigBee Smart Energy public profile
  • XBee-PRO SE – A higher power, longer range version of the XBee SE
  • XBee-PRO 900HP - A 900 MHz XBee-PRO module with up to 28 mile range with high-gain antenna, which supports DigiMesh networking protocol
  • XBee-PRO 900 (Legacy) – A 900 MHz proprietary point-to-point and star topology module, not recommended for new design
  • XBee-PRO XSC (S3B) – A 900 MHz module compatible over the air with the Digi 9XStream radios
  • XBee-PRO DigiMesh 900 (Legacy) – A 900 MHz module which uses DigiMesh, not recommended for new design (see XBee-PRO 900HP for new designs)
  • XBee-PRO 868 – An 868 MHz 500 mW long-range module which supports proprietary point-to-point and star, for use in Europe
  • XBee 865/868LP - An 868 MHz XBee module which uses DigiMesh, available in Surface Mount form-factor (also configurable to 865 MHz for use in India)

Form-factors, antennas, and data modes[edit]

A pair of XBee radios (through-hole with the wire whip antenna type).

XBee Modules are available in two form-factors; Through-Hole and Surface Mount. All XBees (with the exception of the XBee 868LP) are available in the popular 20-pin Through-Hole form-factor. Certain XBee modules are also available in a 37-pad Surface Mount design, which is popular for higher volume applications due to the reduced manufacturing costs of SMT technology.

XBee Modules typically come with several antenna options, including U.FL, PCB Embedded, Wire, and RPSMA.

The XBees can operate either in a transparent data mode or in a packet-based application programming interface (API) mode.[8] In the transparent mode, data coming into the Data IN (DIN) pin is directly transmitted over-the-air to the intended receiving radios without any modification. Incoming packets can either be directly addressed to one target (point-to-point) or broadcast to multiple targets (star). This mode is primarily used in instances where an existing protocol cannot tolerate changes to the data format. AT commands are used to control the radio’s settings. In API mode the data is wrapped in a packet structure that allows for addressing, parameter setting and packet delivery feedback,[9] including remote sensing and control of digital I/O and analog input pins.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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