A comparative study of wireless protocols: Bluetooth, UWB, ZigBee, and Wi-Fi

  • Lee J
  • Su Y
  • Shen C
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Bluetooth (over IEEE 802.15.1), ultra-wideband (UWB, over IEEE 802.15.3), ZigBee (over IEEE 802.15.4), and Wi-Fi (over IEEE 802.11) are four protocol standards for short- range wireless communications with low power consumption. From an application point of view, bluetooth is intended for a cordless mouse, keyboard, and hands-free headset, UWB is oriented to high-bandwidth multimedia links, ZigBee is designed for reliable wirelessly networked monitoring and control networks, while Wi-Fi is directed at computer-to-computer connections as an extension or substitution of cabled networks. In this paper, we provide a study of these popular wireless communication standards, evaluating their main features and behaviors in terms of various metrics, including the transmission time, data coding efficiency, complexity, and power consumption. It is believed that the comparison presented in this paper would benefit application engineers in selecting an appropriate protocol.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bluetooth
  • Short-range communications
  • Ultra-wideband (UWB)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Wireless protocols
  • ZigBee

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  • Jin Shyan Lee

  • Yu Wei Su

  • Chung Chou Shen

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