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z-wave Tutorial-frequency, frame, protocol, PHY, MAC, z-wave security basic tutorial

This page of tutorials section covers z-wave tutorial describing basic features,z-wave frequency bands,z-wave network, z-wave frame,z-wave protocol stack,z-wave physical layer,z-wave security,z-wave MAC layer and more. z-wave is a popular wireless technology in IoT(Internet of Things).


This tutorial section on z-wave basics covers following sub topics:
Main Page   PHY layer   MAC layer   protocol stack   security   conformance tests  


Z-wave technology based devices operates in ISM band. It is developed for low bandwidth data communication applications such as security sensors, home automation, alarms etc. The following section mentions frequencies used in z-wave. It uses 868.42 MHz in Europe and 908.42MHz in USA. Following table-1 mentions basic features of z-wave technology widely used in IoT(Internet of Things) due to low power and low data rate. Z-wave protocol is developed by Sigma Designs, Inc. including encryption. Open source implementation of Z-Wave protocol stack known as open-zwave is also available but it does not support security layer. Z-wave PHY and MAC layer specifications are defined in ITU-T G.9959 standard.

Specification z-wave support
Standard ITU-T G.9959 (PHY and MAC)
RF Frequency Range 868.42 MHz in Europe, 908.42 MHz in US
Data rate 9.6, 40, 100 Kbps
Maximum Nodes 232
Architecture Master and slave in mesh mode
MAC layer CSMA/CA
RF PHY modulation FSK (for 9.6kbps and 40 kbps),
GFSK with BT=0.6 (for 100 kbps)
Coding Manchester(for 9.6kbps), NRZ(for 40 and 100 kbps)
Distance 30 meter in indoors, 100 meters in outdoors

Table-1: z-wave features

z-wave frequency bands

Following table mentions frequency bands, data rate and channel bandwidth supported by z-wave technology through out the world.

Region RF Center
Frequency
(G.9959/MHz)
Data Rate Channel Width
Australia fANZ1/919.80,fANZ2/921.40, 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
Brazil Same as
Australia
Canada Same as
USA
Chile Same as
USA
China fCN1/868.40, 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
European Union fEU1/869.85, fEU2/868.40 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
Hong Kong fHK1/919.80 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
India fIN1/865.20 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
Israel fIL1/916.00 100/
40/9.6Kbps
400/
300/300KHz
Japan fJP1/922.50, fJP2/923.90,fJP3/926.30 100/100/
100 kbps
for all bands
400/400/
400 KHz
for all bands
Korea fKR1/920.90,fKR2/921.70,fKR3/923.10 100/100/
100 kbps
for all bands
400/400/
400 KHz
for all bands
Malaysia fMY1/868.10 100/40/
9.6Kbps
400/300/
300KHz
Mexico Same as USA
New Zealand Same as Australia
Russia fRU1/869.00 100/40/
9.6Kbps
400/300/
300KHz
Singapore Same as EU
South Africa Same as EU
Taiwan Same as Japan
UAE Same as EU
USA fUS1/916.00,
fUS2/908.40
100/40/
9.6Kbps
400/300/
300KHz

Table-2: z-wave frequency bands

z-wave network

z-wave network

The z-wave network consists of controllers (one primary controller and more than one secondary controllers) and slaves. Controller devices are the nodes in a z-wave network which initiates control commands. It also sends out the commands to other nodes. The slave devices are the nodes which replies based on command received and also execute the commands. Slave nodes also forward the commands to other nodes in the network. This makes it possible for controller to establish communication with the nodes who are not in radio frequency region.

Controllers:
A controller device will have full routing table for this mesh network and it will host it. Hence controller can communicate with all the nodes of z-wave network. There are two types of controllers viz. primary and secondary.

The controller which creates new z-wave network initially will become primary controller. This primary controller is master controller in the network and there will be only one in each z-wave network. Primary controller will have capability to include and exclude the nodes in the network. Hence primary controller always keeps latest topology of the network. Primary controller also takes care of managing allocation of node IDs.

The controllers which are added to the z-wave network using the primary controller are known as secondary controllers. They do not have capability to include or exclude any nodes. They will get copies of the routing tables from primary controller.

Slaves:
The slave devices/nodes in z-wave network receive the commands and performs action based on the commands. These slave nodes are unable to transmit information directly to the other slave nodes or controllers unless they are instructed to do so in the commands. The slave nodes do not compute routing tables. They can store routing tables. They will act as a repeater.

Home ID:
The z-wave protocol uses Home ID field to separate the networks from each other. It is 32 bit unique identifier which will be pre-programmed in all the controller devices. At the start, all the slave nodes will have Home ID value as zero. All the slave devices need Home ID value in order to communicate in the z-wave network. This will be communicated to all by the controller. Controllers exchange Home ID which makes it possible for more than one controller to control slave nodes.

Node ID:
This node ID is 8 bit value. Similar to Home ID, they are also assigned to slave nodes by controller. Node ID's are used in order to address individual nodes in a z-wave network. These Node ID's are unique within a network defined by a unique Home ID.

z-wave frame structure

z-wave frame types

As shown in the fig-1, z-wave frame consists of a preamble part, SOF(Start of Frame), Frame data and EOF(End of Frame) symbol. The data part is manchester codes or NRZ coded based on data rate. MAC layer controls the RF spectrum. Data part comes from the upper layers and z-wave frame as mentioned in formed at the MAC/PHY layers. After this is done the z-wave frame as depicted is transmitted by the RF antenna after necessary radio frequency conversion as desired using RF Transceiver. For details on z-wave frame structure as well as various z-wave MAC layer frame types,
Read more.

z-wave protocol stack

The z-wave protocol stack consists of PHY layer, MAC layer, Transport layer, Network layer and application layer. Other than servicing their peers all the layers have their own tasks.
Read more.

z-wave Physical layer(zwave PHY)

The z-wave Physical layer takes care of preamble insertion in the z-wave frame. It takes care of modulation and demodulation as well as RF channel selection. It takes care of data frame transmission and reception.
Read more.

z-wave security

As z-wave open protocol architecture does not specify security layer specifications it is implementation specific. z-wave security layer provides secured communication between nodes as well as between controllers and nodes.
Read more.



z-wave basic resources

z-wave tutorial
z-wave physical layer-PHY
z-wave MAC layer
z-wave protocol stack
z-wave security basics
z-wave device conformance testing

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