Google, Amazon and Apple Seek to Develop New IoT Communication Standard

Google, Amazon, Apple and the Zigbee Alliance are looking to develop a new set of protocols to make it easier for companies to implement low power communication for the Internet of Things.

The current lineup of communication protocols used by all the hardware makers in the IoT industry is nowhere near unified, but Google, Amazon, Apple and the Zigbee Alliance aim to change that with a new standard they call “CHIP” (Connected Home over IP.)

Companies use whatever they think best suits their needs. If a product requires low power, it uses something along the lines of Zigbee or Bluetooth LE. If power is not a constraint, then using Wi-Fi makes a lot more sense.

Put together, Google, Amazon, Apple and all of the members of the Zigbee Alliance (Ikea, Legrand, Schneider, NXP and others), gather a large selection of protocols, all of which have to be maintained and updated, not to mention that royalties are required in some instances.

Since no unified standard is in place yet, it makes sense to choose something already widely used, and that’s over IP, which is common for many other devices.

“The goal of the first specification release will be Wi-Fi, up to and including 802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6), that is 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax; Thread over 802.15.4-2006 at 2.4 GHz; and IP implementations for Bluetooth Low Energy, versions 4.1, 4.2, and 5.0 for the network and physical wireless protocols,” states the CHIP website.

“The Project Connected Home over IP Working Group will likely also embrace other IP-bearing technologies like Ethernet, Cellular, Broadband, and others.”

Depending on what the companies need for their devices, they won’t have to implement all the available protocols. Moreover, the new CHIP standard is said to be open source and won’t incur any royalties.

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