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I've been a long term desktop application developer and now I have the need to dive into embedded. What I am looking to do is implement a Zigbee mesh network where there is one co-ordinator interfacing with 9-27 'routers'. I have looked at various chips from TI and Freescale and narrowed it down to Freescale's MC13224 and since I am a n00b, I need some expert advise.

My question is, I have read through Freescale's Zigbee toolkit called Beekit and how I can use their desktop application to configure my Zigbee chip and then import those settings to my embedded project. What I don't understand is:

1) Will the chip come with some sort of BeeStack code on it? In other words, from a software standpoint, what work will I have to do to make Zigbee work for me on that chip?

2) If anyone has worked with this or a similar chip, can you guide me on what I need to do on my main MC to interface with this chip? Do I need to write some stack implementation? Does the MC13224 provide everything on the chip and I just read/write over SPI?

I'm basically asking a starting point for implementing this Zigbee chip with a main MCU. Please make the answer as layman's terms as possible since I have been learning embedded only for 2 weeks.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Take a look at the following links. I've used the econotag before and there outs quite a bit of support here \$\endgroup\$ – bjthom May 26 '12 at 20:39
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The Microchip ZigBee PRO Stack is available for purchase from the www.microchipdirect.com website. Due to governmental security regulations regarding 128-bit encryption software, the ZigBee PRO stack is not available for download from the Microchip website.

Other companies may do the same.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info. Am I correct in assuming that microchip will also provide instructions on how to load the stack onto the chip? \$\endgroup\$ – Rishi May 30 '12 at 18:54
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The MC13224 has a rom with the lower level Zigbee MAC functionality. The Beekit generates code for several varieties of Zigbee applications which can then be customized. The generated code interfaces to the rom code.

The JTAG interface is the best way to program & debug the chip. Alternatively the rom boot loader can load and flash code from a UART although further debugging is limited to whatever you write for the UART.

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