Difference Between Zigbee and Bluetooth (With Table)

As technological advances take place, wireless technology becomes more popular among netizens. Without direct or wired connectivity, the transfer of files and data from one device to another requires the development of technology. Hence technology like Bluetooth, Zigbee developed. 

However, these are not competing technologies. In this article, we will discuss both the technologies, their aim, the set of devices and applications they use, their designing structure, and finally, how they differ from each other.

Zigbee vs Bluetooth

The difference between Zigbee and Bluetooth is that Zigbee takes around thirty milliseconds to join a network, but for the same, Bluetooth takes three seconds. Bluetooth has a network speed of a maximum of 1M bit per second, but Zigbee has 250 M bit per second. The protocol stack size of Bluetooth is 250 Kilobytes, but it is 28K bytes in the case of Zigbee. The batteries are rechargeable in the case of blue tooth devices, but the batteries used in Zigbee are longer lasting but not rechargeable.

Zigbee generally puts importance on automation. It uses low power consumption and lower data rates on smaller packet devices. The frequency range of Zigbee is around 2.4GHz. Zigbee has 16 RF channels in total. The modulation techniques used are BPSK, QPSK, GFSK. It comprises 6500+ cell nodes. The bandwidth used by it is low, but it’s higher than Bluetooth. The IEEE version followed by Zigbee is 802.15.4.

Bluetooth puts more importance on connectivity near mobile devices. However, it uses higher power consumption and higher data rates on big packet devices. The frequency range of Bluetooth devices varies from 2.4GHz to 2.483GHz. There are 79 RF channels in the case of Bluetooth. GFSK is the modulation technique used by Bluetooth. It comprises around 8 cell nodes in total. The bandwidth used by Bluetooth is comparatively low. The IEEE version followed by Bluetooth is 802.15.1.

Comparison Table Between Zigbee and Bluetooth

Parameters of ComparisonZigbeeBluetooth
EmphasisEmphasizes automation.Emphasizes connectivity nearby of mobile devices.
Power consumptionLow power consumption, data rates on smaller packet devices.Higher power consumption, data rates on big packet devices.
FrequencyAround 2.4GHz.2.4GHz to 2.483GHz.
RF channels16 RF channels79 RF channels
Modulation techniqueBPSK, QPSK, GFSKGFSK
CoverageCovers up to a distance of 100 meters.The signal covers up to a distance of 10 meters.
IEEE development802.15.4802.15.1
Cell nodes6500+ cell nodes.8 cell nodes.
BandwidthThe bandwidth used by Zigbee is undoubtedly low, but it’s higher than that of Bluetooth.The bandwidth used by Bluetooth is low.

What is Zigbee?

Zigbee is protocol having high-level communication. It is used in the creation of PANs or personal area networks, with the help of small or low power digital devices such as radios, basically for automation. It is also used to collect data from medical device and in case of low bandwidth and power needs. Zigbee is specially designed for such smaller-scale projects which do not need a wired connection but rather a wireless one.

Thus, it can be operated only in the personal area or nearby. That’s why it is characterized by low data rate and power, wireless and hoc network. In comparison to other wireless technologies, Zigbee is much simpler and less expensive also. It is cheaper than Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well. The applications generally include traffic management systems, wireless light switches, home energy monitors and other types of industrial and consumer equipment requiring low rate and short-range data transfer in a wireless manner.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is generally used for the exchange of data between two fixed points. One can be mobile, another can be a laptop. The exchange takes place over short distances by the use of UHF radio waves by building PANs or also known as personal area networks. This is a wireless technology having a short-range operation and can act as a great alternative to data cables like RS-232.

Special Interest Group has 35,000 member companies that manage Bluetooth. The member companies are spread out in areas of computing, telecommunication, consumer electronics and many more. However, managing it also overlooks the development of speciation and protects the trademark as well. Till 2009, the shipment of integrated circuit chips units was 920 million annually. This is the approximate and not accurate data.

Main Differences Between Zigbee and Bluetooth

  1. Zigbee generally emphasizes automation whereas, Bluetooth emphasizes connectivity nearby of mobile devices.
  2. Zigbee uses low power consumption, data rates on smaller packet devices. However, Bluetooth uses higher power consumption, data rates on big packet devices.
  3. The frequency range of Zigbee is around 2.4GHz. On the other hand, the frequency range of Bluetooth varies from 2.4GHz to 2.483GHz.
  4. The number of RF channels possessed by Zigbee is 16. Whereas the number of RF channels Bluetooth comprises is 79. ,
  5. The modulation technique used by Bluetooth is GFSK whereas, Zigbee uses BPSK, QPSK, GFSK modulation techniques.
  6. Zigbee comprises 6500+ cell nodes. However, Bluetooth is comprised of around 8 cell nodes.
  7. The bandwidth used by Zigbee is undoubtedly low, but it’s higher than that of Bluetooth. On the other hand, the bandwidth used by Bluetooth is low.
  8. The IEEE followed by Zigbee is 802.15.4. However, the IEEE followed by Bluetooth is 802.15.1.
  9. The range of the ZigBee covers up to a distance of 100 meters. On the other hand, the range of the Bluetooth signal covers up to 10 meters.

Conclusion

The common points between Zigbee and Bluetooth are in abundance. Both Bluetooth and ZigBee operate in the range of the same frequency, that is 2.4 GHz. And both of them also belong to IEEE 802.15, which is the wireless and private area network. However, there are differences in multitude between these two wireless technologies Bluetooth and Zigbee, in terms of both technique and application. The range of the Bluetooth signal covers up to a distance of 10 meters. And Zigbee has coverage up to a distance of 100 meters. Thus, it depends upon the individual’s choice whether to prefer Bluetooth or Zigbee.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050912006825
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4460126/
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