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An XBee radio with a U.S. quarter dollar coin. The XBee board is 24.38 mm (0.960 in) wide.[1]
Digi International, Inc.
Industry Computer hardware
Founded 1985
Headquarters Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.
Number of employees
600 (world-wide)
Website www.digi.com/xbee/

XBee is the brand name of a family of form factor compatible radio modules from Digi International. The first XBee radios were introduced under the MaxStream brand in 2005[2] and were based on the IEEE 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, input/output (I/O), analog-to-digital converter (A/D) and indicator lines built in. A version called the programmable XBee has an additional on-board processor for user’s code. The programmable XBee and a surface-mount version of the XBee radios were both introduced in 2010.[6]

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 (SMT). 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.

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.[7] 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 are wrapped in a packet structure that allows for addressing, parameter setting and packet delivery feedback,[8] including remote sensing and control of digital I/O and analog input pins.[9]

Product line[edit]

As of March 2016, the XBee radio family consists of[10]

  • 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 that 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 that 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 that 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 that supports proprietary point-to-point and star, for use in Europe
  • XBee 865/868LP — An 868 MHz XBee module that uses DigiMesh, available in Surface Mount form-factor (also configurable to 865 MHz for use in India)
  • XBee ZigBee (S2C) — Incorporates an upgrade to the transceiver chip, replacing the Silicon Labs EM250 with the Silicon Labs EM357, effectively adding more RAM, more flash, faster clock speed and lowering the current draw.[11]
  • XBee-PRO ZigBee (S2C) — A higher power, longer range version of the XBee ZigBee (S2C)

Current products comparison[edit]

Model XBee ZigBee (S2C) XBee‑PRO 900HP XBee 802.15.4 XBee DigiMesh 2.4 XBee 868LP XBee-PRO XSC XTend 900 MHz XBee Wi-Fi
form factors
and surface mount
Through-hole Surface mount Through-hole Through-hole
and surface mount
Frequency 2.4 GHz 900 MHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 868 MHz 900 MHz 2.4 GHz
line-of-sight range
XBee ZigBee: 1.2 km
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 3.2 km
14 km (at 10 kbit/s) XBee 802.15.4: 90m
XBee‑PRO 802.15.4: 1.6 km
XBee DigiMesh 2.4:90m
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: 1.6 km
4 km (W/ 2dBi antenna) 45 km (W/ high gain antenna) 64 km (W/ high gain antenna) N/A
Data rate RF: 250kbit/s
Serial: 1Mbit/s
10kbit/s or 200kbit/s 250kbit/s 250kbit/s 10kbit/s or 80kbit/s 10kbit/s or 20kbit/s 10kbit/s or 125kbit/s 72Mbit/s
ZigBee Proprietary 802.15.4 Proprietary 802.11b/g/n
Maximum transmit
XBee ZigBee: 6.3 mW (8dBm)
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 63 mW (18dBm)
250 mW (24dBm) 1 mW (0dBM) XBee DigiMesh 2.4: 1 mW (0dBm)
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: 63 mW (18dBm)
25 mW (14dBm) 250 mW (24dBm) 1000 mW (30dBm) 16dBm
Maximum receiver sensitivity XBee ZigBee: -102 dBm
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: -101 dBm
-110dBm (at 10 kbit/s) XBee 802.15.4: -92 dBm
XBee‑PRO 802.15.4: -100 dBm
XBee DigiMesh 2.4: -92 dBm
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: -100 dBm
-106 dBm (at 10 kbit/s) -107 dBm (at 19200 bit/s) -110dBm (at 9600 bit/s) -93 dBm
ADC inputs 4 (10-bit) 6 (10-bit) 4 (10-bit) 4 (12-bit)
Supply voltage XBee ZigBee: 2.1 to 3.6 VDC
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 2.7 to 3.6 VDC
2.1 to 3.6VDC 2.8 to 3.4VDC 2.8 to 3.4VDC 2.7 to 3.6VDC 2.4 to 3.6VDC 2.8 to 5.5VDC 3.14 to 3.46VDC
Max. current consumption
XBee ZigBee: 59 mA
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 120 mA
229 mA XBee 802.15.4: 45 mA
XBee‑PRO 802.15.4: 215 mA
XBee DigiMesh 2.4: 45 mA
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: 340 mA
62 mA 215mA 710 mA, 900 mA or 55 mA
(depends on model)
309 mA
Max. current consumption
XBee ZigBee: 42 mA
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 45 mA
44 mA XBee 802.15.4: 50 mA
XBee‑PRO 802.15.4: 55 mA
XBee DigiMesh 2.4: 50 mA
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: 55 mA
41 mA 26 mA 35 mA (at 5V) or 40 mA (at 3.3V; depends on model) 100 mA
Max. current consumption
< 1 μA 2.5 μA < 10 µA < 50 µA 2.3 µA 2.5 µA < 147 µA or 2.5 µA
(depends on model)
< 6 µA
Certified regions US, CA, EU, AU, BR, JP US, CA, AU, BR, MX,SG US, CA, EU, AU, BR, JP US, CA, EU, AU, BR, JP EU US, CA, AU, BR US, CA, AU US, CA, EU, AU, BR
I/O 15 13 10
Operating temperature -40 °C to 85 °C -40 °C to 85 °C -40 °C to 85 °C -30 °C to 85 °C
Antenna types options Through‑hole: PCB, RPSMA, U.FL, wire
SMT: PCB, RF pad, U.FL
U.FL, RPSMA, wire U.FL, RPSMA, chip, wire U.FL, RF pad,
PCB (for 10 kbit/s only)
U.FL, RF pad
(depends on model)
Through‑hole: PCB, RPSMA, U.FL, wire
SMT: PCB, U.FL, RF pad
Channels XBee ZigBee: 16
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 15
FHSS XBee 802.15.4: 16
XBee‑PRO ZigBee: 12
XBee DigiMesh 2.4: 16
XBee‑PRO DigiMesh 2.4: 12
30[12] FHSS FHSS
(50 channels)
Serial data
Product page XBee ZigBee S2C XBee-PRO 900HP XBee 802.15.4 XBee DigiMesh 2.4 XBee 868LP XBee-PRO XSC XBee XTend 900MHz XBee Wi-Fi

See also[edit]


External links[edit]