The ZigBee Alliance and the ECHONET Consortium have announced a liaison agreement to collaborate on the development of a certification program for products based on ECHONET standards. In particular, the certification of ECHONET Lite applications using the ZigBee IP wireless mesh networking communications protocol.
The ECHONET standards are universal, international communication standards for linking home appliances made by different manufacturers and provide various services using easily installed transmission media in both new and existing homes. The Internet Protocol (IP) based ECHONET Lite standard was endorsed as the Japanese Smart House Standard by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). ECHONET Lite defines application level communications for electric appliances and electronic equipment to connect to a home energy management system while allowing the use of any appropriate communication standard.
The ZigBee IP specification is the first open standard for an IPv6 based full wireless mesh networking solution to control low power, low cost devices. ZigBee IP enriches the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers and an application framework. ZigBee IP offers a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking, laying the foundation for an Internet of Things without the need for intermediate gateways. It offers a cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless mesh network based on standard Internet protocols, such as 6LoWPAN, IPv6, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS and UDP. It also features proven, end-to-end security using TLS1.2 protocol, link layer frame security based on AES-128-CCM algorithm and support for public key infrastructure using standard X.509 v3 certificates and ECC-256 cipher suite. The ZigBee IP standard enables communications over the globally available 2.4 GHz frequency as well as other frequencies such as 920 MHz in Japan.
“The ZigBee Alliance is pleased to collaborate with ECHONET Consortium by providing a communication technology that is reliable, scalable and secure for controlling energy management systems in a smart home,” said Tobin J.M. Richardson, Chairman and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. “Both the ZigBee Alliance and ECHONET Consortium are not only committed to establishing certification programs in Japan but also to promoting these international standards around the world.”