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Wireless IoT Networks

ARTIK modules provide the technology and protocols you need to master the IoT world. Moreover, we'll show you how to tie them all together!

Wireless IoT Technologies

The ARTIK development boards support a variety of low-power wireless interface options that are ideal for IoT applications. While each technology has its strengths and it is difficult to make precise comparisons, we offer the table below to provide an overview.

The ARTIK 5, 7, and 10 series modules have Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®/Bluetooth BLE and ZigBee®/Thread® capability integrated on the module itself, using circuitry nearly identical to the ARTIK 0 devices.

Technology End
Data Rate Range Application
Bluetooth not available A5, A7, A10 1-3Mb/s 0.5-20m personal entertainment
Bluetooth BLE A020 A5, A7, A10 1Mb/s 0.5-20m smart home, health/fitness
ZigBee A030 A5, A7, A10 250kb/s 10-200m sensor monitoring
Thread A030 A5, A7, A10 250kb/s 10-200m home automation
Z-Wave proprie-
dongle 40 or 100kb/s 10-200m home automation
SIGFOX proprie-
(not on board)
12 bytes/
msg, 140 msg/day
3-15km distant sensor monitoring
(a,b,g,n, ac)
A053, A5, A7, A10 A5, A7, A10 from Mb/s to Gb/s 10-200m general purpose

Most of these technologies have an ultra low-power "sleep" mode when not active and most of the time are drawing current in the microamp range. Wi-Fi is the exception, and requires more consideration versus the other lower-power solutions.

ZigBee, Thread, and Z-Wave are all appropriate choices for the home automation space, with Z-Wave having been around the longest. In their latest versions, all three have the ability to form mesh networks, with Thread having the most sophisticated ability to re-establish connectivity when a "child" is moved from one "parent" to another.

The Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, and ZigBee circuitry is located on the ARTIK module itself; the Z-Wave modem is a USB dongle option. The SIGFOX circuit present on some development boards is not used; refer to the SIGFOX article for more information.

Wireless IoT Protocols

The radio for each IoT technology determines who they can talk to, but protocol is an additional consideration. For example, ZigBee and Thread are carried using the same radio technology; MQTT and CoAP traffic is likewise carried over Wi-Fi. However, none of these protocols interact natively with each other, not even those sharing the same radio technology.

While these discussion topics are covered in depth by articles on other Web sites, we bring them up here as an introduction to our next topic.

Home Assistant and ARTIK Cloud

We provide an introductory article on Home Assistant, a Python-based program that ties together data from the technology/protocol combinations mentioned above, and allows you to create interactions among all of them. Moreover, you can easily set it up to send data of interest to ARTIK Cloud, while leaving each edge device under your secure local control.

ARTIK modules have a unique advantage when used to implement the Home Assistant server, in that they incorporate both technology and protocol support for the most desirable IoT methodologies. That is, hardware and drivers are built-in to support:

  • ZigBee/Thread
  • Bluetooth/BLE
  • Wi-Fi/MQTT/CoAP

Z-Wave also fits into the Home Assistant picture. We'll explain why it is most conveniently implemented as an add-on dongle-type solution.

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