6lowpan/ROLL support on 802.15.4 radios

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6lowpan/ROLL support on 802.15.4 radios
Jon Smirl


802.15.4 is the radio layer of Zigbee. Zigbee is being deployed in smart meters all over the world with most of the activity in California. The next generation of Zigbee is being converted to run on TCP/IP instead of the proprietary Zigbee protocol. TCP/IP over 802.15.4 is the subject of two IEFT working groups - 6lowpan and ROLL. 6lowpan and ROLL are targeted to be GPL compatible unlike the exisiting proprietary Zigbee protocol. COAP is the application layer protocol used on top of 6lowpan/ROLL.

I'd like to buy a wireless router incorporating wifi and 802.15.4 but they don't exist yet. That's probably because there is no 802.15.4 support in Linux yet. I've been playing with writing this code in my spare time but I'm not making much progress. Proposal is for 6lowpan/ROLL to be implemented in the kernel. A user space library would implement COAP.

Primary beneficiary of this work is the Linux based router manufactuers - Linksys, DLink, Netgear, Buffalo, Trendnet, Asus, Belkin, Cisco, etc... Once the code is in the kernel is becomes simple to produce a router that bridges from Ethernet to wifi to 802.15.4.

RF4CE is 802.15.4 based remote controls. Once the ground work for 802.15.4 support is laid it should be possible to support these devices. Target for this is set top boxes.

This is not a proposal to implement the existing Zigbee protocols. Zigbee licensing is GPL incompatible. The Zigbee Alliance board has been asked to fix their GPL compatibility issues in the same manner that Bluetooth fixed them, but the Zigbee board declined to make the changes.

Related work

Linux Zigbee project - http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/linux-zigbee/ 6lowpan at IETF - http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6lowpan/charter/ ROLL at IETF - https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/roll/charter/ COAP at IETF - https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-core-coap/ GE Nucleus - http://www.geappliances.com/home-energy-manager/power-usage-monitor.htm Redwire hacker site - http://mc1322x.devl.org


My estimate is 26 person weeks for the initial implementation and testing. Another 13 person weeks (half-time) to support CELF members who incorporate the code. Possible need for travel budget to go to IETF meetings. This is too big for a spare time project.

Contractor Candidates

Redwire LLC - http://www.redwirellc.com