Testing Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth for mesh network performance

April 09, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Silicon Labs has released what the company believes to be the industry’s first comprehensive network performance results based on large-scale, multicast testing of Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth mesh software.

Each mesh networking protocol presents unique characteristics and advantages, depending on the use case and end application. All testing was conducted at Silicon Labs’ Boston design center using the company’s Wireless Gecko SoC platform to eliminate the device itself as a variable in testing the mesh protocols.

“Understanding the inner workings of mesh technologies helps developers assess how these network protocols perform in the key areas of power consumption, throughput, security and large network scalability,” explained Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Silicon Labs’ IoT Products. “Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth mesh are designed differently from the ground up, and we’re sharing our performance benchmark results to help developers select the right mesh connectivity option for their IoT designs.” 

The mesh network benchmark results can be used by system designers to define expected behavior for Zigbee, Thread and Bluetooth mesh in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. With the growing number of mesh networks available for IoT applications, it is important for developers to understand how these networks differ in terms of use cases and expected performance. The testing focused on device behavior and impact on battery life, network throughput and latency, and the impact of network size on scalability and reliability. 

Silicon Labs’ mesh network performance results are available as a series of application notes that define the methodology for performing the benchmark tests, enabling developers to replicate and run similar tests. These results provide guidance on mesh network design best practices and principles as well as expected field performance results.

The test results are available free of charge to developers at  www.silabs.com/mesh-performance

Silicon Labs -  www.silabs.com


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