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Thread is an IPv6-based, low-power mesh networking technology for Internet of things (IoT) products. The Thread protocol specification is available at no cost; however, this requires agreement and continued adherence to an End-User License Agreement (EULA), which states that "Membership in Thread Group is necessary to implement, practice, and ship Thread technology and Thread Group specifications."
Thread uses 6LoWPAN
, which, in turn, uses the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless protocol
with mesh communication (on the 2.4 GHz spectrum), as do Zigbee and other systems. However, Thread is IP-addressable, with cloud access and AES encryption. A BSD-licensed open-source implementation of Thread, called "OpenThread", is available from and managed by Google.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thread_(network_protocol)6LoWPAN:
6LoWPAN (acronym of "IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks") was a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It was created with the intention of applying the Internet Protocol (IP) even to the smallest devices, enabling low-power devices with limited processing capabilities to participate in the Internet of Things.
The 6LoWPAN group defined encapsulation, header compression, neighbor discovery and other mechanisms that allow IPv6 to operate over IEEE 802.15.4 based networks. Although IPv4 and IPv6 protocols do not generally care about the physical and MAC layers they operate over, the low power devices and small packet size defined by IEEE 802.15.4 make it desirable to adapt to these layers.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/6LoWPANIEEE 802.15.4:
IEEE 802.15.4 is a technical standard which defines the operation of a low-rate wireless personal area network (LR-WPAN). It specifies the physical layer and media access control for LR-WPANs, and is maintained by the IEEE 802.15 working group, which defined the standard in 2003.
IEEE standard 802.15.4 intends to offer the fundamental lower network layers of a type of wireless personal area network (WPAN) which focuses on low-cost, low-speed ubiquitous communication between devices. It can be contrasted with other approaches, such as Wi-Fi, which offer more bandwidth and requires more power. The emphasis is on very low cost communication of nearby devices with little to no underlying infrastructure, intending to exploit this to lower power consumption even more.
The basic framework conceives a 10-meter communications range with line-of-sight at a transfer rate of 250 kbit/s. Bandwidth tradeoffs are possible to favor more radically embedded devices with even lower power requirements for increased battery operating time, through the definition of not one, but several physical layers. Lower transfer rates of 20 and 40 kbit/s were initially defined, with the 100 kbit/s rate being added in the current revision.
Even lower rates can be used, which results in lower power consumption. As already mentioned, the main goal of IEEE 802.15.4 regarding WPANs is the emphasis on achieving low manufacturing and operating costs through the use of relatively simple transceivers, while enabling application flexibility and adaptability.
Devices are designed to interact with each other over a conceptually simple wireless network. The definition of the network layers is based on the OSI model; although only the lower layers are defined in the standard, interaction with upper layers is intended, possibly using an IEEE 802.2 logical link control sublayer accessing the MAC through a convergence sublayer. Implementations may rely on external devices or be purely embedded, self-functioning devices.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.15.4