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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.

Tech End
Data Rate Range Pkt
Bluetooth not available A5, A7, A10 1-3Mb/s 0.5-20m 251 personal entertainment
A020 A5, A7, A10 1Mb/s 0.5-20m 11 smart home, health/fitness
ZigBee A030 A5, A7, A10 250kb/s 10-200m 68 sensor monitoring
Thread A030 A5, A7, A10 250kb/s 10-200m 63 home automation
Z-Wave proprie-
dongle 40 or 100kb/s 10-200m 1K* home automation
SIGFOX proprie-
(no ckt on board)
12 bytes/
msg, 140 msg/day
3-15km 12 distant sensor monitoring
(a,b,g,n, ac)
A053, A5, A7, A10 A5, A7, A10 from Mb/s to Gb/s 10-200m 1.5K* general purpose

*variable packet size

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.

Gateway Management Services

ARTIK modules have a unique advantage when used to implement services such as Home Assistant, AWS Greengrass, and the Edge Node Manager, 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 picture, most conveniently implemented as an add-on dongle-type solution.

AWS Greengrass

Our starter tutorial on AWS Greengrass lets you install the AWS Greengrass core services on your gateway, instantly allowing you to deploy run-time code, known as AWS "Lambda" functions, to any device on your system. The functions let you effortlessly exchange data between edge nodes and the many AWS Web services.

Home Assistant

We provide an 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 or other cloud services, while leaving each edge device under your secure local control.

Edge Node Manager

Specific to Thread networks, the Edge Node Manager allows you to keep track of all Thread-conntected devices in the system. Because of the CoAP connectivity, you can readily tie this configuration management system into Home Assistant and other services with simple code routines.

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