Arch Rock strikes again! 6LoWPAN Interops test successful!

Earlier this year, Arch Rock (www.archrock.com) reported product development kits using the IETF 6LoWPAN wireless standard and the IEEE802.15.4 radio. This is, of course, the same radio that Zigbee, WirelessHART, and the ISA100.11a standards are using. The difference, however, is that the Arch Rock radio has IPv6 connectivity built into the firmware stack... Here's a press release that will come out tomorrow from Arch Rock (early release by permission):

ARCH ROCK, SENSINODE CONDUCT FIRST INTEROPERABILITY TEST OF IETF 6LOWPAN STANDARD

Test Demo Shows Benefits for Wireless Sensor Networks Of Easily Implemented IP Networking Over Low-power Radio

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 31, 2007 - Wireless sensor network vendors Arch Rock Corporation and Sensinode Ltd. have conducted the first successful interoperability demonstration of the IETF 6LoWPAN standard for IPv6 communication over the IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radio. The test, completed earlier this month at Arch Rock's San Francisco headquarters, was the first to show two independent implementations of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 6LowPAN standard communicating with each other over a low-power wireless network. The IETF 6LoWPAN standard defines how IP communication is conducted over low-power wireless IEEE 802.15.4 personal- area networks; it utilizes IPv6, the latest and most scalable version of the ubiquitous Internet Protocol. In March 2007 Arch Rock introduced the first commercial implementation of 6LoWPAN in its Primer Pack/IP offering, followed shortly by Sensinode with its NanoStack protocol solution. Dr. David E. Culler, Arch Rock co-founder and chief technology officer, said, "This demonstration is an important milestone illustrating how open standards will accelerate the adoption of wireless sensor networks. The longstanding IETF emphasis on 'rough consensus and running code' is highlighted here in a pragmatic standard leading rapidly to multi-vendor interoperability." Culler, whose technical team at Arch Rock made substantial contributions to the draft standard, said, "Over the past decade we have seen a proliferation of wireless mesh routing specifications from industry forums and proprietary protocols, but none is compatible with any of the others. The introduction of a simple IP option opens a path to convergence and mainstream adoption." Zach Shelby, chief technology officer of Sensinode, added, "6LoWPAN will enable a revolution of the Internet, truly connecting a huge number of embedded devices through IPv6. Enterprise deployment of wireless sensing has been hampered over the past decade by proprietary radio technology and difficult Internet integration. The whole industry will benefit from the open protocols, vendor interoperability and scalable Internet integration we are seeing as a result of 6LoWPAN." The IETF 6LoWPAN working group was formed in 2004 toaddress the challenge of enabling wireless IPv6 communication over the newly standardized IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radio for devices with limited space, power and memory, such as sensor nodes. Among the group's challenges were developing a practical means of compressing IP's powerful addressing and header information to fit into small packets whose transmission would consume minimum energy, and accommodating efficient multihop routing over IEEE 802.15.4 mesh networks.

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